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    VN to actively participate in UNESCO programmes

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    VNA 07/10/2009 - Vietnam pledges to actively take part in large-scale programmes of mutual interest to UNESCO and Vietnam, said a leading government official.

    In his opening speech at the plenary session of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s 35th General Assembly in Paris on October 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan affirmed that Vietnam supports the organisation’s efforts to contribute to world peace and development.

    He reiterated Vietnam’s viewpoint before representatives from 193 UNESCO member countries, urging them to consider investment in education as investment in the sustainable development of each country.

    Thus, Vietnam welcomes UNESCO making education a top priority and allocating 25 percent of its common budget for education, with notable programmes such as Education for Everyone, the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the UN Literacy Decade (2003-2012), in which Vietnam has actively participated.

    Now, as the world is facing challenges in terms of climate change, the most serious effect of which will be rising sea levels--and given that Vietnam is one of the five countries that will be hardest hit by the phenomenon-- Vietnam supports UNESCO programmes to cope with this problem, especially Specific Plans for the UNESCO Strategy on Climate Change, Nhan said.

    In addition to these plans, UNESCO should increase the budget of the Man and Biosphere Programme as it will speed up the maintenance of the balance between human beings and nature, thus increasing the stability of development, he added.

    Deputy PM Nhan expressed that the Vietnamese government always advocates cultural diversity because it affirms the rights of nations to cultural equality and is a foundation for peace and stability in the world.

    Therefore, the Vietnamese government ratified the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions on August 7, 2007 and is ready to join UNESCO’s upcoming activities to implement the convention, he said.

    On the occasion, the Vietnamese Deputy PM invited representatives of UNESCO member countries to attend the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi scheduled for October 2010.

    On the sidelines of UNESCO’s 35th General Assembly, the Vietnamese delegation worked with the organisation’s Assistant Director-General for Education Nicolas Burnett and Assistant Director-General for Culture Francoisce Riviere and visited the World Heritage Centre.

    Deputy PM Nhan met with the new UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and is scheduled to attend a round table conference with educational ministers on October 9.

    Earlier, he paid a courtesy visit to former UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura and presented him with the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s certificate of merit for his great contributions to consolidating and developing cooperation between Vietnam and the UNESCO/.