The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Audrey Azoulay shall undertake her first official visit to Jordan this week. The Director-General’s visit serves to further strengthen robust cooperation between UNESCO and Jordan, focusing on the realms of education, science and culture.
The Director-General is set to meet with a number of Jordanian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, in seeking to advance and expand the longstanding relationship. Among other activities, she will visit Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), a successful example of international collaboration among a host of scientists from varying backgrounds, making use of advanced technology for the benefit of people and to address contemporary challenges.
In a dedicated visit, the Director-General will engage with students at Luminus Technical University College (LTUC). At LTUC, she will connect with Jordanian and Syrian refugee youth. These students have taken part in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program implemented by UNESCO, with generous multi-year funding from the Government of the Republic of Korea. The project supports the Government of Jordan’s efforts to provide youth affected by the Syria Crisis with post-secondary education opportunities, through TVET training programs.
The Director-General will also pay a visit to Mount Nebo, a historically significant location thought to be the place where Moses viewed the Holy Land. She will also visit the Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”, inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015 as the place where Jesus is said to have been baptized, alongside the remains of Roman and Byzantine churches and chapels. Finally, the Director-General will enjoy an excursion to the Amman Citadel, an important cultural site with a long history dating to many great civilizations, followed by a journey to explore Petra.
The preservation of the World Heritage Site of Petra is a key component of the technical support provided by UNESCO to Jordan's national authorities in charge of the conservation and management of Jordan's extraordinary heritage. The development and endorsement in November 2019 of the Petra Integrated Management Plan represents a major achievement of these joint efforts. The Government of Italy has been a key partner of UNESCO in Petra since 2011, supporting national and local authorities to address a number of consecutive initiatives with the aim of reducing landslide risk and ensuring tourist and site safety in the ‘Siq’, the mythical corridor carved in stone leading to the ancient city.
While in Jordan, it is expected that the Director-General will meet the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Anders Pedersen.
Audrey Azoulay is a graduate of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration and of the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques, she also holds a diploma in Business Administration from the Univesity of Lancaster(UK). She worked as France Minister of Culture from February 2016 to May 2017. She started her career at the audiovisual public sector, she also served as rapporteur at the Court of Auditors of France and served as legal advisor of the European Commission regarding subjects of culture and communication. Furthermore, she successively held different positions at the National Center of Cinematography of France (CNC): Deputy Director of Multimedia Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, Legal Advisor and Deputy Director General.