Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meeting of the U.S. NatCom

The long-awaited annual meeting of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO (U.S. NatCom) took place May 25-27 in downtown Washington, D.C. and, reportedly turned out much quite successful in spite of an unusually tight schedule. It was difficult to know the exact number of Commissioners in attendance but 40-50 is a reasonable estimate plus various invited guests and the not too numerous "public" of whom six were members of the AU Board.

Though not described as having overall themes, the meeting featured science, women and youth in the presence of Dr. Gretchen Kalonji, the new UNESCO ADG/SC due to assume her duties July 1st. An American young woman, former participant in the Young Professional Program, now a staff member in the Science Sector described her entry into the UNESCO world with enthusiasm. Another young woman was equally enthusiastic about her participation in the Youth Forum (held during last year's General Conference). Finally, the United States contribution to various aspects of UNESCO's work in the field of water was eloquently described by the President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Dr. Susan Avery, and two US scientists dealing with the International Hydrological Program.

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