HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan, on her recent official visit to India, as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Education for All, has undertaken an intensive schedule that included a visit to UNESCO Office in New Delhi. HRH Princess Firyal is an international patron of the arts and was designated Goodwill Ambassador in 1992 to promote UNESCO’s Education for All initiative.
On arrival at the New Delhi Office on 17 January 2011, HRH Princess Firyal of Jorda was received and was extended a warm welcome by Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen, Director of UNESCO New Delhi Office, along with other senior colleagues. At the outset, in a private meeting, Mr. Parsuramen gave her a brief on UNESCO New Delhi’s flagship programmes and activities and then escorted her to the meeting with the programme staff.
Mr. Parsuramen briefly introduced her to the staff at the meeting and expressed his pleasure on this opportunity which would enable the staff to discuss and exchange views on areas of mutual interest for future collaboration. He informed the staff that she has been a relentless advocate of humanitarian causes and has participated in charity events worldwide. He further added that representing UNESCO at various international conferences, HRH Princess Firyal helps to promote the rights of the family and children and the protection of the world’s cultural heritage.
The programme staff then briefed her on the current ongoing programmes of the Office in various sectors. Mr. Parsuramen reaffirmed the commitment of the Office to working with the member states in the Cluster to achieve organization’s mission to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.
"A lot has been done in the field of education in India, however a lot more needs to be done" commented HRH Prince Firyal while addressing the UNESCO Staff. Referring to the MDG goals, she encouraged UNESCO New Delhi Office to assist and work closely with the governments in the Cluster, since she felt a great challenge lies ahead for these countries to achieve these goals by 2015, especially goal 2: achieve universal primary education and goal 3: eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.
She encouraged all sectors to approach celebrities and other eminent personalities to request them to associate with UNESCO’s flagship programmes, so that its message could reach a wider section of the society. She said the Office should often contact the Goodwill Ambassadors and seek their assistance and good offices to address the issues. She also informed the staff of the new initiative of UNESCO Hqs to actively engage volunteers from private sector, including from the multinational corporations.
She explored areas especially in the field of Education and Culture, where she felt she could associate and contribute. The Education Sector briefly reported on the various initiatives of the office in the Cluster, especially in areas of literacy, teacher education and quality education.
Given India’s rich, diverse and unique heritage and culture, HRH Princess Firyal felt that both UNESCO and India had an important role to play in this region. The Culture sector briefed her on the UNESCO led - Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) an ongoing initiative which has been very well received in India.
IHCN was founded in September 2006, and currently has 24 Indian member cities, 7 international cities and regions and several national and international institutes and NGOs, aiming towards safeguarding and promoting heritage-based sustainable urban development in the country. In March 2009, IHCN was formally established as an Indian Public Charitable Trust, the Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation (IHCN-F) dedicated to the cause of safeguarding urban heritage in India.
Source:UNESCO New Delhi
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