Baghdad, Iraq: 16 April, 2015 – Today in Baghdad, UNESCO and the Ministry of State for Governorates Affairs of Iraq signed a Global Cooperation Agreement that will provide an umbrella for the planning and implementation of joint programmes in Iraq’s governorates in the areas of education, the sciences, culture and communication and information.
At the signing ceremony, Minister of State for Governorates Affairs Ahmed Al Jabouri said: “I am beyond happy to witness the signing of the Global Cooperation Agreement, one which will help organize projects in the governorates and reflects a natural extension of the partnership between UNESCO and the Government of Iraq.”
The Director of UNESCO Office for Iraq, Axel Plathe stressed “the importance of the agreement as it provides a framework for UNESCO to more efficiently and effectively contribute to Iraq’s development by harnessing the principles of diversity and decentralization and the potential of each region and governorate.”
The agreement is a result of a series of discussions between UNESCO and the Ministry focused on enhancing their partnership to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan of Iraq and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for Iraq.
The signing of the agreement is a solid step towards cooperation in the fields such as teacher training and literacy; the safeguarding and conservation of Iraq’s cultural and natural heritage including the building of capacity in the fields of the conservation and management of cultural sites; the fight against the illicit traffic in cultural property, and the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage as well as to contribute to the development of communication and information including through training for media professionals.
The Ministry of State for Governorates Affairs will facilitate the planning and identification of programme priorities and approval processes of UNESCO assistance to the governorates of Iraq. Requests for assistance from governorates will be reviewed and prioritized by a pre-selection committee.
The agreement reflects the common commitment of UNESCO and the Government of Iraq to achieve concrete progress towards addressing the social, environmental and economic dimensions needed for the sustainable development of Iraq.