President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Paris, France, said the world has an opportunity to count gains of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the last 75 years, while exploring the historic moment for building solidarity and enthroning peace.
The President, who spoke at a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of UNESCO, said “Nigeria felicitates with UNESCO and remains proud of its close association with the organization since its establishment. Seventy-five years of building together a more advanced, knowledgeable and prosperous world through education, science, culture, communication and information.”
“Today calls to mind the words of Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO from 1987-1999 and I quote: ‘any history begins when human beings have to draw from their knowledge of the past in order to better understand the present and look ahead to the future, when they come to realize that they must look into the facts, events and trends that have pre-figured their own era. It is only when their background and their links with the past are brought to light that the present ceases to be incomprehensible, gratuitous and meaningless.’ These are profound words, and they stand the test of time.
“As we mark UNESCO’s anniversary, we must acknowledge that it is a celebration of history; an occasion to remind ourselves of how far we have traveled, seeking to achieve the founding objectives of this great intellectual hub of the United Nations,” the President said.
President Buhari said Nigeria’s relationship with the organisation had been ever expanding and mutually beneficial, helping to look at what lies ahead.
“Our world is fast changing and so are the evolving challenges. There is therefore, no better time to canvass for solidarity for the enthronement of peace and development,” he added.
The President said the anniversary “cautions us not to overlook our achievements and challenges of the past and present. Not to overlook how our journey together has shaped our world.”
“I express my personal happiness for being a part of this historic celebration today, I congratulate UNESCO and its current leadership, for keeping the vision of our great organization alive.
“As a Member-State of UNESCO, Nigeria felicitates with all other Member-States, Associates and partners, who have walked the journey alongside UNESCO.”
President Buhari congratulated the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and all staff on the historic event.