On 12 September, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, opened the UNESCO Multi-Sectoral Regional Office in Abuja. The launch ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, senior Government officials from UNESCO Line Ministries, sister UN agencies and the ECOWAS Commission.
The newly appointed Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, Ms Hassana Alidou welcomed the guests, followed by remarks from the Acting Resident Coordinator of the UN System, Ms Jean Gough, the Permanent Delegate of Nigeria to UNESCO, Ms Maryam Katagum, the Minister of Education, Chief (Barr.) Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke.
In declaring the office open, the Director-General expressed her joy that the Regional Office has become a reality after many challenges, among which was the terrorist attack of 2011. The Director-General took the opportunity to recognize and thank the two UNESCO victims of the blast. She added that the establishment of the Regional Office is a turning point for UNESCO and Nigeria that would further strengthen their relationship. The Director-General also recognized and welcomed the new Director and Country Representative of the UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja and reassured the UN agencies that UNESCO is committed to Delivering as One UN. She extended her gratitude to the Federal Government of Nigeria for support in accommodating UN agencies after the bomb blast, and to its support for the renovation of the UN House.
Concluding the ceremony, the Director-General, accompanied by the Honourable Ministers, cut the ribbon in the presence of the acting UN Resident Coordinator, the Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO.
Photo caption: Cutting of ribbon at the opening of the UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja (left-right):Mr Saidou Jallow, education specialist UNESCO Regional Office Abuja, High Chief Edem Duke, Minister of Tourism Culture and National Orientation, Mrs Hassana Alidou, Director and Country Representative of UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, Mrs Jean Gough, UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Mrs irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, Minister of Education, Barrister Yesom Wike, Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education and Her Excellency Ambassador Maryam Katagum, Permanent Delegate of Nigeria to UNESCO. September 2013.