Namibia celebrates UNESCO 70th anniversary
Namibia celebrated UNESCO’s 70th anniversary in Windhoek on 28th October 2015. The well attended event was a result of the cooperative efforts between the Namibia National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) and UNESCO Windhoek Office.
The 70th anniversary celebration reflected on UNESCO’s work in Namibia and revisited UNESCO’s orientations and programmes for the next decade and beyond. The event also highlighted the relevance of the Organization’s mandate and priorities in Namibia with particular focus on Sustainable development Goals in line with Namibia’s own Developmental Plans and strategies.
Quoting his Excellency Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, the keynote speaker at the celebrations, Honurable Itah Kandjii-Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation said, “Namibia is a child of international solidarity, midwifed by the United Nations.”
She added that, “this reminds us that the United Nations organisations such as UNESCO contributed immensely to the struggle for our independence, and to this day our global partners continue to provide technical and financial support towards our development.”
Honourable Kandjii-Murangi also emphasised that Namibia will continue to cooperate with UNESCO to implement the new post 2015 Development Agenda.
“We expect UNESCO to play an increasing role in the post-2015 Development Agenda. The just concluded 197th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO reiterated the role of UNESCO to support Member States in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s),” she said.
Speaking at the same event, UNESCO Windhoek Head of Office, Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo highlighted some of the contributions of UNESCO’s work in Namibia.
“The office drives UNESCO’s mission to contribute to the building of peace, eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and communications and information,” said Dr Ilboudo.
The former Prime Minister of Namibia Rt. Honourable Nahas Angula gave his reflection of UNESCO’s collaboration with Namibia before independence.
“My association with UNESCO dates back to around 1974 when I was in Zambia where I started a school for Namibian exiled children. UNESCO provided monthly stipends for teachers under an assistance program for the liberation movements,” he said.
A documentary about UNESCO’s contributions to Namibia was also screened at the event.
The event was also attended by Ms. Kiki Gbeho, United Nations Resident Coordinator, members of the United Nations Country Team, Professor Tjama Tjivikua, Rector of Polytechnic of Namibia and Mandela Kepere, Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Council, and members of the diplomatic community.