UNESCO 70th Anniversary celebration in New Zealand
2015 marks 70 years since the establishment of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Globally recognised as UNESCO, it was established with a mission to build "the defenses of peace in the minds of men”, as the North American poet Archibald MacLeish, suggested and as reflected in its Constitution . It was founded in 1945 to develop the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” as a means of building lasting peace.
In September this year, the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO not only celebrated the 70th anniversary of UNESCO services in the region but most importantly the change that UNESCO has made to lives around the world.
At the invitation of Professor Ian McKinnon, Chair of the National Commission for UNESCO, a special event was held in the Parliament of New Zealand and Chaired by Honorable Minister of Education, Hekia Parata. On this occasion, the Director of the UNESCO Office for the Pacific States, Mr Etienne Clement, acknowledged on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the Parliament of New Zealand for the invitation and the initiative to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO which was founded by 37 countries, including New Zealand.
Mr Clement in his keynote address at the celebrations said that “In 70 years UNESCO has done a long way in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information from its Headquarters in Paris, its 52 Field and liaison Offices and its some 190 National Commissions, through its five functions.”
He added that while its programmes and functions have achieved very successful outcomes, the challenges are numerous and UNESCO is determined to design and deliver relevant programmes to address these challenges.