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UNESCO and One Belt One Road Initiative Time:2017/10/20

I am very excited to see the photo of yourself hand in hand with China’s First

Lady Madam Peng Liyuan in Xiamen during the BRICS Summit 4-5 September

2017 for awarding UNESCO Girls & Women's Education Prize.

I watched the cultural gala of the BRICS Summit on CCTV and was very

impressed that China President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan stretched

out to shake hands with you. You were the only one on the second row of VIPs

that they shook hands with.

There is little doubt that your relations with the Chinese top leaders is excellent

at both official and personal level.

the Chinese leadership for UNESCO to proactively advance the economic and

social development of the developing world through the visionary “One Belt

One Road” (OBOR) Initiative.

Though OBOR is China’s contribution to the developing world, OBOR is now

co-owned by over 100 South countries, developed countries, intergovernmental

agencies and non-government organisations. I term OBOR the signature agenda

for the world’s first Development Revolution. If OBOR succeeds, the UN

SDGs will succeed for South countries.

You will recall I wrote to you on 7 October 2015 about strengthening

UNESCO/China relations on South-South Cooperation. The exchange of

correspondence is in ANNEX No 1 for ease of reference.

Though I am not aware of any development on my 2015 suggestion, I have not

been idle. ISTIC has signed MOUs with two sister UNESCO Category 2

Centres in China, namely the International Knowledge Centre for Engineering,

Science and Technology (IKCEST) and the International Centre for Engineering


Above all, the Academy of Engineering and Technology of the Developing

World (AETDEW) whose secretariat is ISTIC has been actively promoting the

human resources capacity development under the OBOR Initiative. With the

help of AETDEW Fellows in China, AETDEW met with the International

Cooperation Centre of China National Development and Reform Commission

(ICC-NDRC) on 4 July 2017 in Beijing. Besides myself, AETDEW was

represented by AETDEW Council members, Dr. Eltayeb Mustafa of Sudan and

Professor Manzoor Soomro of Pakistan. AETDEW’s offer of the networks of

our 150 Fellows throughout the developing world for OBOR human resources

capacity development programs was very well received by ICC-NDRC. The

proposal to sign a MOU between ICC/NDRC and AETDEW was mooted.

I will be in Beijing on 25 September 2017 to meet ICC-NDRC again to

progress the MOU and to discuss genuine collaboration projects, namely the

setting up of OBOR Maintenance of Infrastructure Training Centres in OBOR

countries, starting with "proof of concept training centres" in Pakistan,

Myanmar, Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya and Malaysia in 2018. ISTIC also offer to be

the coordinating centre for all ICC-NDRC collaborative projects. I attach the

exchange of correspondence between AETDEW with ICC-NDRC in ANNEX

No. 2.


I also attach the proposed MOU in ANNEX No. 3. The projects envisaged in

the MOU and listed below are the priority agenda successfully carried out

by ISTIC since its establishment in 2008.

”(1) “One Belt One Road Fusion of Civilizations” curriculum design for

schools along “One Belt One Road (OBOR)” countries;

(2) Maintenance and Repair of Infrastructure training for OBOR engineers and


(3) Technopreneur training for innovators for promotion of SMEs in OBOR


(4) Accreditation of engineering courses to international standards and

certification of engineers and technicians in OBOR countries leading to

mobility of engineers and technicians in OBOR countries;

(5) Distance learning and remote training via Internet for human capital

development in digital skills and technologies in OBOR countries; and

(6) Any other cooperation programs mutually agreed.”

The above projects are consonant with China President Xi Jinping’s vision and

mission in his speech during the opening of the OBOR Summit Forum 14 May


We should build the Belt and Road into a Road for Peace;

We should build the Belt and Road into a Road of Prosperity;

We should build the Belt and Road into a Road of Opening Up;

We should build the Belt and Road into a Road of Innovation;

We should build the Belt and Road into a Road connecting Different


I would like to reiterate that OBOR is the common development agenda of the

world, especially the developing world. Its all-embracing agenda is also the

agenda of UNESCO in education, science, culture and communications in

fulfilment of UNESCO vision and mission for world peace.

I attach below what China has committed in resources for OBOR. I believe

China would need the advice and assistance of UNESCO and her extensive

networks and centres like ISTIC to assure the resources committed to OBOR

will bear the proper fruits expeditiously.

Director General’s Office. ISTIC and AETDEW stand ready to assist in

whatever way required.

With Kindest Regards