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saudi crown prince visits unesco

ICJW Representative Norma Anav reports that the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud made his first official visit to UNESCO on 4 September 2014 to meet Director-General Irina Bokova and addressed an audience of Permanent Delegates of UNESCO Member States, invited guests and officials.

The Director-General Irina Bokova took the chair by welcoming the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and she thanked Saudi Arabia for its active contribution to UNESCO’s programmes and remembered the growing partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UNESCO.

Then, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, speaking in Arabic, welcomed the implementation of UNESCO’s programmes in Saudi Arabia, notably the inscription of three World Heritage sites. He also called on UNESCO to protect the cultural heritage of Palestine and praised the UNESCO for its initiatives, in particular the celebration of World Arabic Language Day on 18 December every year.

For this event, UNESCO made at the disposal of the guests a booklet "Saudi Arabia & UNESCO : Desert Flowers 1435-2014" which describes:

- the history of UNESCO : the constitution of UNESCO has been ratified on 4th November 1946, Saudi Arabia is one of the first 20 establishing countries of UNESCO having ratified the constitution of UNESCO

- the leading initiatives of Saudi Arabia at UNESCO,

- the conferences and exhibitions at UNESCO,

- the Saudi extra-budgetary contribution to UNESCO: intensification of contacts and consultations between Saudi Permanent delegation and UNESCO have been put in place in order to support and activate the UNESCO Saudi Arabia Funds-in-Trust cooperation and to enhance the contribution of Saudi Arabia in UNESCO's programme for the relief of the Palestinian people.

Saudi Arabia has established special projects under the Funds-in-Trust at UNESCO for the relief of the Palestinian People such as rehabilitation of schools in Palestine and safeguarding of Islamic heritage in Jerusalem. An amount of 20 million dollars was donated by Saudi Arabia.

- the membership of Palestine to UNESCO in 2011

- Saudi days at UNESCO