02 June 2012, 12:37
Fruitful cooperation between Kazakhstan and UNESCO set to expand
ASTANA. June 2. KAZINFORM Twenty years ago, Kazakhstan has established cooperation with UNESCO on May 22. The visit of Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova to Astana on May 28-31 this year has coincided with the twentieth anniversary of the bilateral relations between the country and the Organisation, according to the press service of Kazakh Foreign Affairs Ministry.
At the invitation of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Irina Bokova participated as an Honorary Guest in the IV Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Astana on May 30-31 under the theme of "Peace and Harmony as a Choice of Humankind."
On May 30, Irina Bokova met with President Nazarbayev. Nursultan Nazarbayev highlighted that Kazakhstan attaches great importance to cooperation with the Organisation.
"All our initiatives have always found understanding and support from the side of UNESCO. Therefore, we can say that our cooperation has reached a good level. The Organisation carries out a special mission among civilizations, which we understand and support," Nazarbayev said. President expressed strong support for the objectives and programmes of UNESCO and underlined the importance of its mandate in a globalizing world.
In her turn, Irina Bokova emphasized that holding the Congress of Religions to discuss important religious and spiritual issues has become an integral part of international calendar.
Irina Bokova thanked President Nazarbayev for the leadership of Kazakhstan in promoting opportunities for new forms of international cooperation and dialogue to further mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development.
She welcomed the contribution of Kazakhstan to UNESCO's work in these areas and more widely. She noted the success of the 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the timely importance of the proposed international decade (2013-2022) on the Rapprochement of Cultures, both initiatives of Kazakhstan.
During the Congress, Irina Bokova underlined UNESCO's longstanding commitment and engagement in strengthening "the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind" through intercultural dialogue.
"This includes inter-religious dialogue which must be woven into a broader process of intercultural dialogue to enhance understanding between individuals of all faiths, beliefs and convictions," Irina Bokova said.
President Nazarbayev's idea to create a world forum G-Global should be brought to discussion at the Rio+20, UN Conference on Sustainable Development on June 20-22, Bokova said at a press conference held within the Congress.
"This idea includes all elements of sustainable development: the economic issues, questions of social development and social justice, as well as issues of cultural diversity. I think this idea fits into this global initiative very well," she said.
General education should be available to all, while teaching religion in secular schools is an issue that each state should decide for itself, Bokova said replying to a related question.
"From the perspective of UNESCO, it is important that quality education is available to all children, both girls and boys. Because we believe that cultural illiteracy, which is there, limits the ability to achieve dialogue of tolerance and reconciliation in some societies," she said.
On May 29, Irina Bokova met Kazakhstan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Kazykhanov. In his opening remarks, Minister Kazykhanov summarized the two decades of Kazakhstan's participation in UNESCO activities. The Organisation has supported the country in a number of reforms and in implementing projects in education, science, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage.
At present, Kazakhstan is a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Information for All and Development of Communication international programmess, and is a Chair of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations. The country intends to continue its cooperation.
Kazykhanov highlighted that Kazakhstan wants to be a candidate in elections to the World Heritage Committee in 2013 and will continue to support UNESCO's initiatives.
Irina Bokova thanked the Government of Kazakhstan for directing voluntary contribution to UNESCO's Emergency Fund. She also commended the activities of the National Committees of Kazakhstan on UNESCO and ISESCO.
The Head of UNESCO also met with Kazakhstan's Speaker of Senate Kairat Mami. "The Senate of the Parliament provides full legislative support for areas of cooperation between Kazakhstan and UNESCO," Kairat Mami said.
According to Bokova, UNESCO supports Kazakhstan's initiative to convene a congress of religious leaders, the idea of which is becoming increasingly popular in the world.
In addition, Director General of UNESCO was invited to the opening ceremony of a Central Asian Regional Glaciological Centre in Astana.
The agreement on establishing such a centre was signed by Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov and the Head of UNESCO.
"This will be the world's first Glaciological Centre under the auspices of UNESCO. The centre will study the dynamics of natural processes in the zone of formation of regional water resources, which is essential for sustainable development in Central Asia. It will work closely with the regional office of UNESCO in Central Asia and National Committees in the region," Zhumagulov said.
The centre is expected to be an autonomous entity under the Institute of Geography of the Education Ministry.
Tags: Foreign Affairs Ministry
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