On Sunday, the Press and Information Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry informed RIA Novosti, in the course of the general meeting of the inter-departmental commission of the Russian Federation on UNESCO affairs, which took place in Moscow last week, it had been stated that UNESCO remained one of Russia's priority partners in international humanitarian cooperation. The meeting participants indicated that, in the outgoing year, the work of the Commission had been oriented at consolidation and further expansion of the new relations with UNESCO achieved as a result of Moscow and Paris meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuuro in 2000. The meeting participants stated the growth of interest of state and public figures of various subjects of Russia, educational, scientific and cultural institutions to participation in the UNESCO program activity. Foreign Ministry spokesmen added that Russia's positions in international humanitarian cooperation were becoming even stronger. That was confirmed by the 31st session of the UNESCO General Conference which approved a number of resolutions initiated by Russia, including a resolution denouncing international terrorism. Russia was elected into the governing bodies of a number of committees and programs. It made significant contribution to the development of international documents adopted by the session. Moscow specifically emphasized the fact that UNESCO "made a real contribution into the settlement of such urgent Russia's problem as restoration of the educational system in the Chechen republic". In the course of the session of the General Conference, an appropriate agreement was signed on cooperation between the government of the Russian Federation and UNESCO. The spokesmen also reminded that Russia had paid all membership debts to the UNESCO budget and the World Heritage Foundation.
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