UNESCO director general Koïchiro Matsuura and Mexican president Felipe Calderón took part in the opening of the Universal Forum of Cultures Monterrey 2007 on September 20.
This UNESCO forum runs from September 20 to December 8, 2007. In a press release announcing Mr. Matsuura’s participation in the forum opening, UNESCO states that the Forum pursues work started by the Barcelona Forum in Spain in 2004. “It focuses on the three core concepts already present in Barcelona: sustainable development, cultural diversity, and peace. But knowledge has been added as a fourth theme to the Monterrey Forum,” it adds.
“Monterrey is one of the main university towns and industrial centers in the American continent,” Mr. Matsuura recalled during the Forum opening. “From the very beginning, Monterrey’s proposal was that the debates and discussions of the Forum should focus on the idea of knowledge societies. In a world marked by an unprecedented economic expansion, it is essential that knowledge be accessible to all. Knowledge is the key to personal growth, to building critical thought, and to the exercise of liberty,” he added.
Lastly, UNESCO’s press release notes that the Forum celebrates cultural diversity and promotes international dialog through debates about some of the most important challenges facing humanity. The Forum will feature more than one thousand events—conferences, workshops, concerts, and exhibitions—over close to three months.