Kokk promotes UNESCO

  • 2011-11-02
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - In his speech at the 36th UNESCO General Conference in Paris on Oct. 31, Estonian Ambassador to UNESCO Marten Kokk emphasized that Estonia has already been a member of UNESCO for 20 years and in that time cooperation with the organization has consistently grown stronger, writes the Foreign Ministry.
Ambassador Kokk stated that for the past few years Estonia has belonged to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Heritage. “During this General Conference, Estonia is for the first time a member of the Legal Committee and is also a candidate to be a member of the International Coordinating Council of the ‘Man and Biosphere’ programme,” Kokk said.

Kokk added that Estonia places importance on cooperation with UNESCO in safeguarding human rights and democracy and in promoting cultural heritage and research. “Estonia also recognizes the reforms carried out by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, which have made UNESCO a more modern and effective organization,” he said. The ambassador also emphasized that Estonia feels it is important to fight against the politicizing of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s activities.
“The work of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee must be apolitical,” Kokk asserted.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was created to promote cooperation and information exchange among nations in the area of education, research and culture. The UNESCO Constitution was signed by 37 countries on Nov. 16, 1945 in London and came into force on Nov. 4, 1946. The organization currently has 193 member states. UNESCO’s headquarters are located in Paris.

Estonia became a member of UNESCO on Oct. 14, 1991. Estonia has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1997 for Tallinn’s Old Town and since 2005 for the Struve geodetic arc, which was proposed by ten countries in cooperation. In July of 2009 the events of the Baltic Way were added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program. Seto polyphonic singing has been added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, as have Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’s song and dance festival tradition and the Kihnu cultural space.