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First Lady of Cameroon named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for education and social inclusion

PARIS, France, 13 November 2008 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will designate Chantal Biya, First Lady of Cameroon, as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for education and social inclusion. She will receive the title during a ceremony on 14 November (6.30 p.m.) at UNESCO Headquarters.

The designation recognizes the First Lady’s longstanding support for inclusive education, particularly concerning girls, young women, orphans and the underprivileged, as well as for HIV/AIDS research, treatment, education and prevention. Her humanitarian action encompasses her leadership and work with African First Ladies though the organization Synergies Africaines, created at her initiative; her association with the UNESCO HIV/AIDS-prevention Families First Africa project; and the International Chantal Biya Reference and Research Centre for HIV-AIDS Prevention and Care-taking in Yaoundé.

In her capacity as a Goodwill Ambassador, Ms Biya will build on these achievements, working particularly with UNESCO’s Education and Science sectors. She is expected to contribute to UNESCO’s efforts to address gender inequality and the empowerment of women and girls, vulnerable people and minorities in the context of the fight against poverty.

The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are celebrity advocates who use their talent and status to spread the ideals of UNESCO and to help focus the world's attention on its work. Ms Biya joins an illustrious group that already includes three personalities from the African continent: South African former President and Nobel Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, Malian scientist Cheick Modibo Diarra and Nigerian writer and Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka.


 

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