President Santiago Irazabal Mourão: Vietnam will enrich UNESCO’s fora

The President of the 41st General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assessed that Vietnam’s role as a member of the Executive Board, bringing “new breathes” to the activities of this global-scaled organization.


The 41st session of UNESCO, which just ended on 24 November, achieved historic results, with the adoption of a number of important measures, decisions, and resolutions.

Santiago Irazabal Mourão – The President of the 41st General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Photo: Le Courrier du Vietnam

Accordingly, UNESCO has issued a resolution related to the ethical issue of artificial intelligence. This is an important document that will guide the Member States of UNESCO to develop governance, regulations, and principles for the development of artificial intelligence – an essential industry for the future of human civilization.

In addition, UNESCO also recommends the issue of “open science”. This resolution will allow the members to have more opportunities to exchange scientific information. In the context of the current pandemic, the world has realized the importance of the “open science” issues. Sharing the recipe for developing vaccines and drugs to treat Covid-19 can help humanity quickly overcome this great crisis.

At the event, Vietnam was re-elected as a member of UNESCO’s Executive Board for the 2021-2025 term, marking the 5th time it was selected for the position.

Speaking to the press about the election, Mourão affirmed that UNESCO is very pleased to welcome Vietnam as a member of the Executive Board of the organization for the new term.

He told the Le Courrier du Vietnam that “The country takes us to its cultural richness, its history and its different perspective of society.”

For UNESCO, cultural diversity, ideas and debates are fundamental bases. The ideas and perspectives that provided by Vietnam will certainly enrich UNESCO’s debates and conclusions.”.

Previously, on November 17, Vietnam won the high trust of UNESCO members when it was re-elected to the Executive Board for the fifth time in a row. With 163 out of 178 votes or 92%, Vietnam won the seat together with 27 members, obtaining more support than other candidates including China (153 votes), Egypt (130), Jordan (126), Grenada (115), Turkey (158).

In 2021-2025, Vietnam will be proactive in promoting UNESCO’s five major fields namely education, culture, natural science, social science, and information and communications. 

Vietnam was first elected as a member of the board in 1978.