Prince’s Palace of Monaco

HSH Prince Albert II presides over the opening session of the Experts meeting on the Arctic

On Tuesday 3rd March 2009, H.S.H. Prince Albert presided over the International Meeting organised by UNESCO on the subject: Climate Change and Arctic Sustainable Development: scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges

 Picture : HSH Prince Albert II presides over the opening session of the Experts meeting on the Arctic

In his address, he emphasised « Whatever the reason, the result is there: today's meeting would have been inconceivable only a few years ago. I'm not saying no one would have been interested. No! I'm simply observing an essential difference: a profound mutation in people's minds that gives us great hopes today ».
Then he continued, saying: « In all countries the world over, there has emerged a generosity as diverse as it is rich. Great philanthropists and small donors alike, more and more of our fellows are offering their time and money to help preserve our common future. And these fraternal gestures towards future generations are also wonderfully efficient. (···) Through these convergent efforts and tenacity, through this meeting of shared ambitions, the global landscape has truly changed. » He then added « The global change we are witnessing does not only produce direct effects that can be measured topographically or in biological studies. There are also, less obvious but just as powerful, in-depth changes in social practices and mentalities. There are those countless silent revolutions that inexorably affect the balance and traditions peoples inherit from their long history. There is a need to preserve their way of life by adapting it to the changing world. »
He ended his speech by recalling: « This is the true significance of today's meeting, at least as I see it: building sustainable development thanks to science, as well as collective action, action that is social, cultural and educational in our own countries, less directly concerned, but equally responsible. It is a duty of reciprocity that must lead us to prevent the catastrophes predicted for the Arctic, in particular by providing support to local populations, while at the same time fighting the causes of these upheavals everywhere by creating a common destiny. That, too, is something we can achieve, above all, through knowledge, widespread awareness, the widest possible dissemination of scientific work, as well as of our discussions today. »

Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO and Professor Malaurie, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador then took the floor. Professor Malaurie, who had an Audience with the Sovereign Prince the day before was keen to pay tribute to him: “Your Highness, I express the gratitude of the Scientific Community. You are following in the tradition of Your illustrious great-grandfather Albert Ist, an explorer of frozen seas but with Your own personal touch. Like a Prince Médicis, You are a friend to the Arts and Sciences and creators.”

Following this ceremony, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince had a private audience with Mr Koïchiro MATSUURA, Director General of UNESCO.

During this meeting, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince highlighted the excellent relationship that the Principality has now had with this Organisation for 60 years and discussed cooperation projects jointly carried out. The Prince paid tribute to the work conducted by Mr Matsuura who for nine years has been conducting a wide scale institutional reform.

This meeting was followed by a lunch given at the Prince's Palace in the presence of the Minister of State and members of the government, Professor MALAURIE, H.E. Mr Jean PASTORELLI, Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Mr Patrick VAN KLAVEREN, Minister-Counsellor, Permanent Representative to Scientific, Environmental and Humanitarian International Bodies and members of the Prince's Cabinet.

After the lunch, a work meeting was attended by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, H.E. Mr Jean-Paul PROUST, Franck BIANCHERI, Jean PASTORELLI, and Messieurs Georges Lisimachio, Robert Calcagno, Paul Masseron and Patrick Van Klaveren. The focus was on the activities carried out by the Principality within UNESCO, in connection with the priority themes defined during the Organisation's last general conference, notably the reduction of poverty within the framework of sustainable development, education for all, climate change, the protection of material and immaterial heritage and the diversity of cultural expression.

On Friday afternoon, the Prince will take part in the progress report on the works which will conclude these four days of Meetings.

Prince’s Palace of Monaco