On October 6, 2008, UNESCO announced that Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Strategic Partnership “to expand existing cooperation between the two organizations.”
According to the press release, this memorandum brings up to date the cooperation agreement concluded by UNESCO and the IDB in 1967. “Reflecting the strategic interests of the two organizations and their new priorities, it provides a framework for cooperation between the two partners in education, science, culture, and communication.”
Mr. Matsuura welcomed the agreement, saying it will “reinforce the cooperation between UNESCO and the IDB and make their joint activities all the more effective.” As for Mr. Moreno, he stressed “the IDB’s wish to promote quality education and better access to educational services. Together, we will make faster progress towards the Millennium Goals in these domains.”
The release also states that the agreement allows UNESCO and the IDB to undertake joint activities in Latin America and the Caribbean in a certain number of areas affecting culture, including the protection and promotion of biological and cultural diversity (i.e., the promotion of multilingualism), the protection and safeguarding of natural and cultural heritage (i.e., intangible cultural heritage), and the development of cultural industries. For more information on this agreement and all common areas of activity it covers, please consult the UNESCO press release.