Mr Matsuura is a former Japanese diplomat who has led UNESCO since 2000. Since his appointment he has carried out major institutional reforms while advancing a range of programs from universal basic education to freshwater management and the preservation of living arts and cultures.
Welcoming delegates to the conference, the Minister said:
I would like to express my sincere hope that today’s conference fully achieves its objectives.
I believe its theme - Drivers for Change - speaks volumes and is totally consistent with the aims and objectives of UNESCO. We do live in a global society which is undergoing change - change which seems to be even more rapid than in the past. These are changes that are having a fundamental effect on society, economies, the environment and even politics.
I trust that as discussions today centre on this theme that you will come forward with tangible outcomes that will not only benefit us here in Wales and in the UK but also UNESCO worldwide.
The Cardiff conference will include a session on education under attack - a global study on targeted police and military violence against educational staff, students, unions and institutions.
The session will be led by the report’s author, Brendan O’Malley, who dedicated his research to a former Afghan teacher Safia Ama Jan who during the reign of the Taliban risked her life by running an underground school for girls in her home. She was shot and killed outside her home in Kandahar in September last year.
The conference takes place at the Holland House Hotel, Cardiff between 9am and 5pm on Saturday.
13 July 2007