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60th Anniversary of UNESCO

60th Anniversary of UNESCO

The 60th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), of which New Zealand is a founding member, is being celebrated at Parliament today.

“UNESCO emerged in the wake of World War II. New Zealand was there at the beginning and has played a significant role over the last 60 years,” says Margaret Austin, Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

“We celebrate, acknowledge and applaud the vision and commitment of those New Zealanders who engaged in its founding and reaffirm our commitment to working towards world peace and justice.”

UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations working for world peace and international understanding through international co-operation in education, natural and social sciences, culture and communications.

The event for invited guests, organised by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, will reflect on the past sixty years and look to the future, considering the world in which our children and grandchildren will live over the next sixty years.

As part of the event, Minister of Education Steve Maharey will present the UNESCO Undergraduate Science Scholarships. The Minister will also accept a special carving to be unveiled by the children of Chisnallwood Intermediate School. The carving was created as part of the work of the National Environmental Education Coordination team's work to promote 'Education for a Sustainable Future'. Over forty children from Wellington South Intermediate School will present a cultural performance as part of the celebrations.

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A ceremony for the 60th anniversary was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris this week, attended by an international audience including President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko and France’s Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy.

In his welcome address at the ceremony, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said, “What we are celebrating today is not so much the commemoration of a past event but pride in our capacity to respond with courage, energy and commitment to the challenges of our time.”

---ENDS---

For more information about UNESCO and its anniversary visit www.unesco.org
For more information about UNESCO in New Zealand visit www.unesco.org.nz

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