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In Paris, President Adamkus presented Ambassador Ina Marčiulionytė as joint candidate of the three Baltic States for UNESCO's Director-General

Wednesday, May 13, Paris - President Valdas Adamkus, currently on a working visit to France, hosted a reception Wednesday evening in Paris.


Addressing the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, and other guests at the reception, President Adamkus presented the joint candidate of the three Baltic States for the organization's Director-General: Ambassador Ina Marčiulionytė - permanent delegate of Lithuania to UNESCO.


As he introduced Ina Marčiulionytė, President Adamkus underlined that by most accounts the Baltic States were considered to be small countries.


"The Baltic States are eager to make an impact both in terms of policy and good governance of this United Nations agency that is so crucial for finding answers to 21st century challenges," Mr. Adamkus said.


He further said that Ina Marčiulionytė had been the driving force for freedom and democracy when Lithuania regained its independence, adding that she had continued to stand for those values in UNESCO.


"I hope that you will continue supporting her in order to defend the noble and essential ideals upon which this organization was built in 1946," Mr. Adamkus said.


Speaking about the Annual Meeting of Goodwill Ambassador to be held Thursday, President Adamkus expressed his admiration for UNESCO's ability to effectively address issues of building a knowledge society.


He stressed that knowledge societies were impossible to create without providing solid basic education for all.

"The developing countries in particular need an ambitious UNESCO programme for higher education and research. Knowledge is of use only to those who have access to it," Mr. Adamkus said.


He voiced his firm belief that UNESCO would help all our countries develop coherent science and technology strategies to share the benefits of scientific progress.


President Adamkus supported Ambassador Marčiulionytė's proposal to launch a Global Cultural Diplomacy Initiative in 2010, which would create a unique opportunity to combine UNESCO's strengths with the needs of all countries and set an ambitious agenda for a true dialogue between the cultures.


Tomorrow, May 14, President Adamkus will deliver a speech at the Annual Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, focusing on UNESCO's role in a world under global crisis, Lithuania's experience in building knowledge society, and the tools for creating a global knowledge society.


Valdas Adamkus will return to Vilnius Thursday late night.


Full text of the speech:




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