On 4 March, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Audrey Azoulay visited SESAME on her first official visit to Jordan. She was accompanied by members of her cabinet, the Head of UNESCO’s Office in Amman and Jordan’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ambassador Makram Queisi.
She was welcomed by SESAME Director Khaled Toukan and members of his staff and taken on a tour of the Centre during which she was shown the beamlines of SESAME by Scientific Director Andrea Lausi. and presented with the many scientific applications at SESAME. Addressing one of the beamline scientists she underlined how greatly “SESAME was to be congratulated on both the extremely large number of proposals being received and the very many disciplines they cover”.
Director-General Azoulay was highly impressed by what she saw and in her own words stated “I should like to express appreciation and gratitude to Professor Toukan who has been involved in the project since its inception and whose unwavering commitment has been instrumental in bringing the Centre to where it is today”.
She invited SESAME to give a presentation on its activity at one of the future sessions of UNESCO’s Executive Board and in an expression of full solidarity indicated “I should again like to assure you of UNESCO’s full commitment to provide support for the expansion of SESAME and the further development of its programme, and given the successful longstanding partnership there has been between our two Organizations, UNESCO looks forward to further cooperation in the fostering of advanced scientific research to cope with the challenges being faced by society and the promotion of a culture of peace.”
UNESCO has been crucial in the establishment of SESAME and without it SESAME would have been stillborn.
Director-General Audrey Azoulay is the third to hold this position since the creation of SESAME and each has paid an official visit to SESAME, which in itself is testimony of UNESCO’s continued firm commitment to SESAME.