World

Secretary Antony J. Blinken And UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay Before Their Meeting – United States Department of State

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DIRECTOR-GENERAL AZOULAY:  Very happy to have you here, Mr. Secretary, and again welcome home at UNESCO.  It’s a great honor and privilege to have you, and we’ve seen the difference with the U.S. back at the table.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, Director-General Audrey, thank you so much.  It’s great to be back at UNESCO.  It’s great for the United States to be back in UNESCO as well as a member of the executive board.  And I know – and have already seen it – that there is much that we can do with UNESCO on an agenda that is critical for people all over the world, everything from making sure there’s more STEM education for girls to handling artificial intelligence in an ethical manner.

For the United States, it’s so important that we have a seat at the table, and I’m very, very pleased that we’ve regained the seat that we had and didn’t have but now we have again at UNESCO, and I’m looking forward to talking with the director-general about the work that we and other countries are doing here at UNESCO.

I also just want to say how much I appreciate your leadership at a time of tremendous challenge.  You’re doing an extraordinary job, and it’s made our own re-entry into UNESCO that much better, that much more effective.

DIRECTOR-GENERAL AZOULAY:  Merci.

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