On the eve of the opening of the General Conference of UNESCO and its 70th anniversary, the President of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez Rosas, today held a bilateral meeting with the Director-General Irina Bokova at the organization's headquarters.
President Vázquez thanked UNESCO for the recent listing of the industrial landscape of Fray Bentos on the World Heritage List. He also expressed satisfaction with the work done by the UNESCO Regional Science Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and Multi-Country office for MERCOSUR, in Montevideo, and its ongoing projects to increase South-South cooperation in science.
President Vázquez also welcomed the creation of a Regional Center for Groundwater Management for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Montevideo, as a UNESCO Category II center.
The President presented his government’s plan to gradually increase Uruguay’s investment in education until it reaches 6% of the country’s gross domestic product. He also stressed that he would further develop the Plan Ceibal, which currently provides elementary school students with free laptops and free internet access, to include secondary school and university students. The Director-General congratulated the President on this project, saying, “to give a computer to a child, is equivalent to giving it to the whole family.”
For their meeting, President Vázquez was accompanied by Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Minister of External Affairs, Danilo Astorio, Minister of Economy and Finance, Jorge Menéndez, Vice-Minister of Defense, Ricardo Erhlich, President of the Board of The Pasteur Institute in Montevideo and Guillermo Dighiero, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Uruguay to UNESCO, among others.
The Director-General presented the commemorative medal of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO to President Vázquez.