President of Palau addressed UNESCO General Conference
His Excellency President Johnson Toribiong of the Republic of Palau accepted the invitation from the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, to be her special guest at the 36th General Conference (Paris, October 2011). This was conveyed personally to the UNESCO Representative to the Pacific, Dr. Visesio Pongi, during his audience with His Excellency on 24 August 2011, in the presence of the Chairperson of NATCOM and the Minister for Education Hon. Masa-Aki Emesiochl as well as the Minister for Community and Cultural Affairs Hon. Faustina Marugg-Rehuher. This was the first time a Head of State from the Pacific small island states attended and addressed the General Conference of UNESCO.
In his speech delivered at UNESCO, President Toribiong acknowledged UNESCO's role in its mandate for building a culture of peace. He higlighted the impotance of UNESCO's activities in nurturing countries' identity under the effect of globalisation through UNESCO's areas of competence especially Education and Culture. He also identified Youth and Climate Change as challenges facing Palau as well as small islands deveoping states. Lastly, the President informed the General Conference of Palau's ratification of the 2003 Intangible Cultural Heriage Convention.