St Lucia Secures Election to UNESCO Board Presidency

On 24th November 2023 Saint Lucia achieved a resounding victory in the election for the Presidency of the Executive Board of UNESCO, following a year long, arduous campaign led by Prime Minister Hon. Philip J. Pierre and Ambassador Gilbert Chagoury, the Permanent Delegate of Saint Lucia to UNESCO.

Ambassador Chagoury has been the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Saint Lucia to UNESCO with an unbroken tenure under successive governments for the past twenty-eight years and with a sterling record of proactive service to St. Lucia. Under the direction of Ambassador Chagoury, Saint Lucia has become an influential force at UNESCO; first being elected to the Vice Presidency of the Executive Board in 1999 with the candidacy of Dr. Sir Leton Thomas and culminating in 2023 with the Presidency of the Executive Board for the period 2023-2025 with the candidacy of Ms. Vera Lacoeuilhe, a highly respected member of St. Lucia’s Permanent Delegation.

OECS Director General and Executive Board Member for Saint Lucia, Hon. Dr. Didacus Jules, commended the role of the Permanent Delegation and expressed appreciation for the hard-fought campaign mounted by the Permanent Delegation of Saint Lucia to UNESCO.

“Ambassador Chagoury has been a true friend of Saint Lucia who – for almost three decades – has not only provided and funded excellent representation by the Permanent Delegation through the hiring of the most competent professionals but has also invested in the country’s social and economic development. Ambassador Chagoury has been instrumental in making Saint Lucia an influential force at UNESCO, and this has culminated in St. Lucia being elected to the Presidency of the Executive Board, beating Brazil, a much larger country with a greater global profile. Recognition should also be given to Ambassador Chagoury for his strong advocacy at UNESCO that led to the Pitons, the national symbol of Saint Lucia, being designated as a World Heritage Site.”

The Government of Saint Lucia extends its heartfelt gratitude to UNESCO, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for their unwavering support throughout this journey. T

his victory recognizes the pivotal role played by the Saint Lucia Delegation within the organization. St Lucia is committed to upholding the values and objectives of UNESCO and pledges to serve with integrity, diligence, and a commitment to furthering the organization’s noble causes.

The OECS looks forward to fostering enhanced collaboration and mutual understanding among member states of UNESCO during the term of St Lucia’s presidency.

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