On 25 February 2013, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and H.E. Mr. Hassanian Muala, Secretary-General of the Iraqi National Commission to UNESCO, on behalf of His Excellency Dr Mohamed Tameem, Minister of Education of Iraq, signed an agreement to formalize the USD 1 million contribution from the Government of Iraq to the Organization’s Emergency Fund.
The Agreement was signed in the presence of Mr. Ismail Mohamad Hasan, Chargée d’affaires of the Permanent Delegation of Iraq to UNESCO, and Ms. Dalal Najimaldin, Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Permanent Delegation of Iraq to UNESCO.
The Director-General highlighted that the Agreement was very welcome and would greatly benefit the Organization in the current challenging situation that UNESCO is facing. “Your gesture bears renewed witness to the Republic of Iraq’s longstanding support to UNESCO as an increasingly prominent donor,” said Irina Bokova.
The Secretary-General underscored that Iraq has always been a staunch supporter of the Organization and it will remain one. “UNESCO did a lot for Iraq after the 2003 conflict”. He further underlined that the Government of Iraq supports UNESCO’s leadership and reform agenda aiming at strengthening its focus and relevance, as well as an enhanced country-level action.
The Director-General reiterated that such contribution “comes at the right time” as UNESCO is defining its core programme priorities for the next years to come, and as such, is particularly welcome and appreciated.
Irina Bokova further expressed her appreciation for Iraq’s active engagement in UNESCO’s activities and support for UNESCO’s action in its fields of competence. In this context, she recalled that Iraq made voluntary contributions to UNESCO amounting to over USD 4 million in the first six months of 2012 alone, notably through self-benefiting projects in the field of cultural heritage preservation, and emphasized that such cooperation would be expanded to the fields of education and sciences.
H.E. Mr. Hassanian Muala expressed his country’s deep commitment to UNESCO and confidence in the Organization’s actions and highlighted that such contribution was to be seen as a gesture of solidarity with UNESCO and an expression of support for its important work and “an encouragement to strengthen further the UNESCO-Iraq relation”.