21.01.2015 - UNESCO Havana

UNESCO Director-General visits the Dominican Republic

© Fernando Brugman-UNESCO Havana/ Director-General, Irina Bokova, talks with boys and girls of the Padre Eulalio Arias Elementary School.

After two days of intense work, the official visit of UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, to the Dominican Republic came to an end.

As part of the programme of activities, Bokova met with the president of the country, Danilo Medina, as well as high-level officials of his Cabinet and the Senate, with whom she addressed issues relative to education, science, culture, communication and information, areas of UNESCO’s mandate.

Within the framework of these meetings, the UNESCO Director-General referred to the success the Dominican Republic has achieved in its struggle against illiteracy, and highlighted the work made by UNESCO in support of the Plan, whereby 750,000 persons have learned how to read and write.

In addition, she congratulated the 4,000 graduates of the “Quisqueya Aprende Contigo” National Literacy Plan, present at the graduation ceremony, which she attended with authorities of the host country and UNESCO. On this occasion, she reiterated her commitment to continue to support the President’s initiatives in the Education sector, particularly with regards to the efforts being made in teacher training and early childhood care.

Bokova also visited the Centre for the Comprehensive Care of the Disabled (CAID), accompanied by its director and First Lady of the Republic, Cándida Martilla de Medina. There she received information on the functioning of the institution and the “Quisqueya sin Miseria” Plan, where this initiative is inserted.

The UNESCO Director-General said she was impressed with the achievements of the Centre and the Plan, implemented by the Presidency of the Republic to promote social inclusion in disadvantaged sectors and improve the quality of life for the population.

Furthermore, the head of the multilateral Organisation was able to exchange views on the progress and challenge of higher education in the Dominican Republic at a meeting held with the Minister and more than 30 rectors of universities from all over the country.

Throughout her visit to the Dominican Republic, Irina Bokova was accompanied by the Minister of Culture and President of the Dominican National Commission for UNESCO, José Antonio Rodríguez, with whom she was able to exchange views on the enormous potential that the cultural diversity of this Caribbean nation represents for the country’s development.

During the conversations, it was agreed that the Havana-based UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean was to support a Culture Plan, which, through capacity-building, would facilitate the effective implementation of the existing conventions of the sector in the country.

Reportedly, the objective of the Plan is to facilitate that the Caribbean nation may benefit from the cooperation mechanisms covered by the conventions, and continue to move forward in the implementation of plans and projects that take into account the centrality of culture in economic and social development.

The possibility of creating the necessary conditions for the Dominican Republic to ratify the convention on Underwater Heritage was also addressed.

In the Science sector, the UNESCO Director-General stressed the importance of continuing to prioritise the preparation for climate change and the development of an early warning system for tsunamis.

Other themes, such as the sustainable use of water, the sustainable management of natural resources, and the protection of the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, also formed part of the agenda.

The Director-General was also favourably impressed with the work of the Community Technology Centres, an initiative of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL) to boost regional development through the use and exploitation of ICTs in educational, governmental and productive processes.

The Director- General was accompanied by the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Dominican Republic to UNESCO, H.E. Ms Laura Faxas, the Officer in charge of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, Fernando Brugman, and the Secretary General of the Dominican National Commision for UNESCO, María Mercedes Brito-Feliz.

More information:

Irina Bokova: The Dominican Republic is a country that champions education for all

UNESCO Director-General meets with the President of the Dominican Republic

Irina Bokova attends the graduation ceremony of the “Quisqueya Aprende Contigo” National Literacy Plan”

The Dominican Republic celebrates the 70th anniversary of UNESCO

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