Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Sudan’s Membership to UNESCO

28 November 2016


Today, Sudan and UNESCO celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Republic of Sudan’s membership to UNESCO. On this special occasion, I wish to extend heartfelt congratulations to the leaders and the people of the Republic of Sudan, and I send warm regards to all Ministers and participants at the National Museum, who have gathered to celebrate this important event.


Sudan joined UNESCO on 26 November, 1956. Two years later, the Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture was established as the official body to advance UNESCO activities, contributing to the UNESCO’s mission to strengthen the foundations for inclusive and sustainable development and lasting peace on the basis of human rights and dignity.


Since then, the partnership between Sudan and UNESCO has gone from strength to strength. Our achievements are many, and they include the establishment of the National Museum of Archaeology in the framework of Nubian Campaign, as well as collaboration within the International Hydrology Programme, to ensure reliable fresh water supplies, building on the champion support of the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity. They include also tight cooperation to provide quality education to all, working with the Ministries of Education, and Higher Education and Scientific Research. Safeguarding cultural heritage has been a priority, bringing together the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife with the World Heritage Centre, to recognise Meroe Island and Jebel Barkal, as well as Sangoneb Atoll and Dounganab Bay. Sudan also holds two unique Biosphere Reserves – Dinder and Radom – building on cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife and the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. In addition, Sudan hosts eight UNESCO Chairs and one Regional Centre for Water Harvesting (Category 2 Center), under auspice of the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity.


These are but a few examples of our cooperation, covering all UNESCO’s spheres of competence. This was given a boost with the establishment of the UNESCO Office in Khartoum in 2006, following the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and I look forward to deepening this partnership ever more, to meet the goals of the people of Sudan, in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


I thank the Government and people of Sudan for their engagement, and I wish you all the very best on this important occasion.


Irina Bokova