26.04.2012 - ODG

Strengthening Cooperation between Saudi Arabia and UNESCO

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UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met with His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia, H.R.H. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to deepen cooperation between Saudi Arabia and UNESCO.

"UNESCO has a very important contribution to make to the world" stated His Majesty King Abdullah during his meeting with Irina Bokova.

While praising the Organization's work in supporting dialogue amongst cultures and building peace, King Abdullah added “our world, unfortunately, is rife with tension, sadness, and mistrust. Human beings were created as equals and partners on this planet. It is a primary goal of UNESCO to safeguard peace and to promote religious and cultural understanding”. King Abdullah also praised "the noble moral position of UNESCO towards Palestine".

In this context, the Director-General commended the King’s initiative for Interfaith Dialogue launched at the United Nations in 2008, where His Majesty called “for a united front to combat terrorism and promote tolerance,” starting from the premise, indeed, that all “human beings were created as equals and partners on this planet". She also recalled also the invaluable contribution of the Islamic culture and heritage to the world's civilization and its widespread influences across the globe.

To deepen his efforts to promote peace and tolerance, the King informed the Director-General of the inauguration in Vienna of the International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue this autumn. "This bears witness to Saudi Arabia's strong engagement for dialogue" said the Director-General, adding that this vision fits with UNESCO's core mission to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women.

The Director-General also expressed her appreciation for His Majesty's ambitious reform of the education system. As lead United Nations agency in education, Irina Bokova highlighted the power of education for the sustainable development of all societies.  "Advancing quality education and advocating for solidarity are the only paths towards peace, security and cooperation worldwide" said the Director-General.




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