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Press Releases

  • Director-General of UNESCO condemns the destruction inflicted on the Ali al-Hadi shrine in Samarra (Iraq) - (Office of the Spokesperson)
    24-02-2006 - Paris, 23 February - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, voiced shock and concern at the destruction of the golden dome of the Imam Ali al-Hadi shrine in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra and at the heavy loss of lives in the violence. More

  • Statement by Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO - ()
    02-02-2006 - DSC_0014-serious.jpg“I am particularly conscious of the emotion aroused throughout the Muslim world by the dissemination in the press of caricatures of a religious nature. More

  • Le Directeur général rend hommage au prince Rainier III de Monaco - (La Porte Parole)
    06-04-2005 - Le Directeur général de l’UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, a fait part de sa « vive émotion et de sa profonde tristesse » à l’annonce du décès de SAS le Prince Rainier III de Monaco. More

  • UNESCO Director-General pays homage to Pope John Paul II as a champion of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue - (Bureau de la Porte-parole)
    06-04-2005 - dg_pope_small.gifUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today expressed his profound sadness over the death of Pope John Paul II, whom he described as a “spiritual guide (who) placed his extraordinary energy, charisma and eloquence at the service of peace and inter-religious dialogue.” More

  • UNESCO Director-General shocked and saddened by assassination of Rafik Hariri - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    16-02-2005 - Speaking from Saint Lucia where he is on an official visit, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura yesterday condemned the attack that claimed the life of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 15 others. More

  • Statement by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Camp of Auschwitz - ()
    26-01-2005 - aushw.gif“For the first time in its history, the General Assembly of the United Nations has decided to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of the nazi concentration camps, lest the world ever forgets what it failed to prevent. More

  • La Conférence mondiale de Bangkok s'achèvera samedi prochain Sida, miroir de nos carences - (L'éditorial du Figaro, les chroniques et les tribunes sur Lefigaro.fr)
    13-07-2004 - Le sida est, de toute évidence, une tragédie. Est-il une fatalité ? Rien n'est moins sûr.

    [13 juillet 2004] More

  • Kosovo: “Beyond monuments and heritage, it is memory and cultural identity that are being destroyed” declares Director-General of UNESCO - (UNESCO)
    22-03-2004 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today expressed his great concern over the events of the past few days in Kosovo and the surrounding region, which have provoked the loss of numerous human lives and damaged cultural and religious heritage. More

  • Le Directeur général exprime sa profonde tristesse à l’annonce du décès de Boris Trajkovski - (La Porte-parole)
    26-02-2004 - M. Trajkovski avait également honoré de sa participation le Colloque de haut niveau sur la construction des sociétés du savoir, organisé par l’UNESCO en décembre dernier à Genève à l’occasion du Sommet mondial sur les sociétés de l’information. More

  • Iraqi Cultural Heritage: second UNESCO mission - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    27-06-2003 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, announced this morning, at an information meeting for the staff of the Organization that a second UNESCO expert mission would be leaving for Iraq on 28 June 2003, to take stock of the situation of Iraqi heritage. More

  • Implementation of Resolution 1483 on Iraq: Koïchiro Matsuura says “UNESCO stands ready to assume fully the special responsibilities assigned to it by its mandate, particularly in the fields of education and culture” - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    23-05-2003 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today welcomed the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of Resolution 1483. More

  • Iraqi Cultural Heritage: first UNESCO mission to Baghdad from 15 to 20 May 2003 - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    19-05-2003 - On the initiative of the Director-General of UNESCO, and following recommendations of an international experts meeting held on 17 April, at the Organization’s Headquarters and another held on 29 April, at the British Museum in London, an expert mission visited Baghdad, from 15 to 20 May 2003, to elaborate a first report on the state of Iraqi cultural heritage. More

  • Koïchiro Matsuura: The fate of Iraqi heritage lies in the hands of the international community as a whole - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    17-04-2003 - Matsuura_Iraq_Experts_meeting_100.jpgThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, in his address to the international experts meeting on 17 April 2003 convened at his initiative in UNESCO Headquarters, stated: “Despite all your expertise and good will, the fate of Iraqi heritage does not lie in your hands. It lies in the hands of the international community as a whole, and the only way that we will be able to safeguard these treasures and give them back to humanity is if we can count on the cohesion, coordination and determination of all concerned, at every level”. He renewed his appeal to “all States to adopt the emergency legal and administrative measures required to prevent the importation into their territory of any cultural, archaeological or bibliographical object having recently left Iraq” and again called upon “all museums, art dealers and private collectors to exclude these objects from any commercial transactions”. More

  • Koïchiro Matsuura: Libraries and Archives must be protected as essential parts of the rich heritage of Iraq - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    15-04-2003 - As the evidence of the destruction of many parts of the cultural heritage in Iraq is increasing, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today warned of the devastation and looting of libraries and archives in the country, which may have irreversible consequences for maintaining and strengthening the country's cultural identity. "I reiterate my urgent call to take immediate measures of protection and surveillance of Iraqi cultural institutions to which libraries and archives belong", declared Mr Matsuura. More

  • The Director-General of UNESCO calls for all measures to be taken to ensure the protection and surveillance of Iraqi cultural heritage and effectively fight against illicit trafficking - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    12-04-2003 - Following the acts of looting committed yesterday in the National Archaeological Museum of Baghdad, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has contacted the American and British authorities and asked them to take immediate measures of protection and surveillance of Iraqi archaeological sites and cultural institutions. More

  • UNESCO must be ready without delay to help restore hope for the future in the Iraqi people, says Koïchiro Matsuura - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    10-04-2003 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura has welcomed the support shown by the Members of the UNESCO Executive Board for a full role for the Organization in Iraq. Speaking before the Executive Board on 9 April 2003, he stated “UNESCO’s experience in similar situations over recent years has shown that education and culture can play a key role in consolidating the peace process and restoring national unity”, he said. “We must be ready without delay, he added, to help restore hope for the future in the Iraqi people”. More

  • The Director-General of UNESCO deplores high toll among journalists in Iraq - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    08-04-2003 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today deplored the heavy toll paid by the press in Iraq and reminded the belligerents of their obligation to treat journalists as civilians. More

  • In the face of the situation in Iraq, the Director-General calls on the Members of the Executive Board to focus their energies on ensuring that UNESCO is ready to assume its proper responsibilities when the time comes - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    07-04-2003 - Speaking at the opening of the current session of the Organization’s Executive Board, which is being held from 4 to 16 April, chaired by Mrs Aziza Benani, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Morocco to UNESCO, the Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, began by expressing once again his “compassion in the face of the terrible suffering of the Iraqi civilian population”. “How”, he said, “can anyone not shudder at this deluge of noise and fire or not feel for the families of so many dead and wounded, whether civilians or military personnel? Loss of life by any token is unbearable”. More

  • The Director-General of UNESCO says he is « relieved » at yesterday’s announcement about the resumption of the « Oil for Food » Programme - (Office of the Spokeswoman)
    29-03-2003 - Declaring his “deep sympathy with the Iraqi people, whose suffering has been worsened by lack of food and drinking water supplies”, Koïchiro Matsuura has reaffirmed UNESCO’s determination to “resume as soon as possible, alongside the other eight United Nations system agencies involved, an active part in the implementation of the Oil for Food Programme”. More





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