The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is due to cooperate with Iran in setting up a water research center in the Southern province of Fars. "The UNESCO will cooperate in the establishment of a water research institute in Fars," Governor General of Fars province Seyed Mohammad Ahmadi said after a meeting with Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova in Shiraz city on Sunday night. He said that the UNESCO has vowed to send experts to Iran to help Shiraz University researchers find a solution for the drought problem in Fars province. "This issue can expand our relations with the UNESCO from archeology and history to scientific and cultural arenas," Ahmadi said. In a relevant development last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Bokova in a meeting in Tehran vowed to do their best to pave the ground for the expansion of the relations between Tehran and the world body. In a meeting on the sidelines of an exhibition held in line with the UNESCO Memory of the World Program which is UNESCOs flagship program aimed to ensure the preservation and dissemination of valuable archive holdings and library and museum collections worldwide, the two sides emphasized the reciprocal role that Tehran and the world body can play in materialization of the two sides' cultural objectives. The UNESCO chief arrived in Tehran on Friday for a five-day visit. This is the first visit to Iran by a UNESCO director-general in ten years. In November, Bokova hailed Iran for its rich culture and scientific advancements, and described the country as a good cultural partner for UNESCO. “UNESCO’s regional office in Tehran is important to us and we will soon appoint and introduce a director for the office,” Bokova said in a meeting with Iranian Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji Dana in Paris on the sidelines of a UNESCO annual meeting. Bokova termed Iran as a country with glorious culture and civilization. UNESCO's purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the UN Charter. UNESCO has 195 member States (it recently added Palestine in November 2011) and nine Associate Members.