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The President of the Republic met the Director-General of UNESCO

President Arnold Rüütel at Kadriorg met with the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koichiro MatsuuraPresident Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg met with the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koichiro Matsuura.

UNESCO pays increasingly more attention to the oral cultural heritage and, therefore, the Baltic States have expressed the desire that the traditions of their song festivals be included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Estonia would like to see on this list also the island of Kihnu with its singular culture.

The President of the Republic at the meeting voiced hope that these projects submitted would be endorsed by UNESCO. Director-General Matsuura praised Estonia's long and interesting history, cultural heritage and beautiful nature. According to him, there was hope that the international jury meeting in the autumn would endorse the Estonian projects.

President Rüütel during the meeting set out the historic importance of the tradition of Estonian dance and song festivals, and on top of that, the issues of preserving resources of clean water and underwater heritage were under discussion.

President Rüütel expressed delight that Estonia had been UNESCO's member already since 1991 and emphasized the great role UNESCO played in the history of mankind.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 29, 2003

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