05.12.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Director-General thanks Gabon and Timor Leste for generous donations

©UNESCO - UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova

The Director-General made the following statement on 5 December 2011

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the governments of Gabon and Timor Leste for their generous contributions to UNESCO’s Multi-donor Emergency Fund.  These gifts are votes of confidence for the Organization in its hour of need. They also send a clear message about the value of investments in education, the sciences, culture and communication – the building blocks of development.

By participating in United Nations System, developing countries can share knowledge and good practices that build livelihoods, protect culture, fight corruption and achieve sustainable development.  With these funds UNESCO will show that multilateralism makes a difference. 

These contributions, coming from developing countries, strengthen UNESCO’s resolve to help people overcome poverty.  I will ensure that Gabon’s generous gift of $2 million is spent to help children stay in school, to train teachers, to preserve the rainforest and to protect cultural heritage and identity – both in the country and in Africa.  Through this work, UNESCO will strengthen citizenship and good governance.

Likewise, I will ensure that Timor Leste’s generous contribution of $1.5 million will sharpen UNESCO’s focus, both in that country and in countries nearby.  It will be used to help girls and boys learn how to read and write, to safeguard the country’s rich heritage, to support independent media and to help everyone claim the right to free expression. 

Both contributions will be used to strengthen south-south cooperation so that developing countries can find the way forward together.  They will augment the work that UNESCO is already undertaking in each country and strengthen our delivery on the ground.

I pledge to use all other contributions from developing countries in support of their own development.  Only by maintaining our focus on them will we achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives of Education for All.


Irina Bokova



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