UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will hold a press a conference at the Centre d’Accueil de la Presse Etrangère (CAPE) in Paris on Wednesday February 26, at 5.00 p.m. to outline the challenges of the seminar UNESCO and NEPAD: From Vision to Action and to present the first meeting of the UNESCO Committee for NEPAD, which are to take place in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) from March 5 to 8.
Launched on October 21, 2001, in Abuja (Nigeria), the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is an African initiative supported by the international community, notably by UNESCO, which, among other initiatives, organized an international seminar on Forward-looking Approaches and Innovative Strategies to Promote the Development of Africa in the Twenty-first Century in November 2001, and recently developed a Medium Term Strategy for Africa (2002-2007) defining UNESCO's contributions to NEPAD’s objectives.
The Ouagadougou seminar will bring together political decision-makers, representatives of African regional and sub-regional organizations and of donors as well as experts. It will set out the ways and means in which NEPAD’s action plan is to be implemented in UNESCO’s fields of competence, in particular regarding Education for All (EFA), water, links between biodiversity and cultural diversity, and access to information and knowledge. A high-level session, chaired by Mr Matsuura, will be held on March 7 under the aegis, and in the presence, of Blaise Compaoré, President of the Republic of Burkina Faso. The President of Ghana, John Kufur, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), will attend the meeting as its guest of honour.
At the close of the seminar, the Director-General of UNESCO will proceed to the inauguration of the UNESCO Committee for NEPAD. This consultative committee has the task of making recommendations on Africa’s development within UNESCO’s fields of competence, and on the support the Organization is to provide to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.