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UNESCO Moscow Bureau to be closed in September 2015

November 19, 2014, 18:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The organization's officials say the move has no political implications and is connected with the fact that the bureau had fulfilled its mission in Russia

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© AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. UNESCO will close its bureau in Moscow in September 2015, this decision has been made on mutual consent of the sides concerned with no political implication meant, Senior secretary of the Russian Commission for UNESCO affairs Grigory Ordzhonikidze told TASS on Wednesday. UNESCO announced its plans to reorganize its Moscow office two years ago, Ordzhonikidze added.

In the end of 2012 UNESCO senior officials said they were planning to close its Moscow office because the UNESCO Bureau in Moscow had carried out its mission. "This position conforms to the efforts, made by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, which are aimed at the reorganization of local UNESCO bureaus with simultaneous support to UNESCO organizations in undeveloped countries or countries in a transitional period. The Russian side accepted the UNESCO decision announced by its secretariat, and the UNESCO Bureau will be closed in September 2015 on mutual consent," Ordzhonikidze said.

"All the big projects undertaken jointly with UNESCO have been practically fulfilled. Nonetheless, the UNESCO Bureau might continue some of its representative functions, which might be turned over to the International Institute of information technologies and in particular, to the director of the institute," he said.

The UNESCO Bureau in Moscow was established in 1989 for purposes of involvement of the former Soviet republics in UNESCO activity. After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union the UNESCO Bureau was reorganized into a cluster bureau which incorporated several CIS states. Afterwards, Georgia and Ukraine quit the cluster bureau.

"Thus, at present, UNESCO's activities cover only five states in the former Soviet space — Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Russia, which narrows our cooperation with the rest of the CIS states, which is our political priority," Ordzhonikidze said.

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