Senior UN official hails President Bushs announcement that US will rejoin UNESCO

Speaking to the UN General Assembly today, President Bush said, “As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO.” The agency “has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning,” he added.Immediately following the announcement, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura “warmly welcomed” the news and pledged his “full commitment” to reintegrating the United States into the agency’s work. “I look forward to the possibility of closer collaboration with the enormous intellectual and cultural resources of the American academic and scientific communities, and fuller contact with the extraordinary cultural diversity that characterizes American life,” he said. “Their energy and ideas are vital in the effort to shape policies that can improve the lives of people everywhere.”Mr. Matsuura voiced confidence that the US’s return to UNESCO “supports effective reform and renewal within the multilateral system” and said he looked forward to working with the country’s representatives to further improve the agency.

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