UNITED NATIONS - The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands to assist the agency in promoting literacy. According to the UNESCO, one in six adults is still not literate - two-thirds of them women - while 75 million children are out of school. The Princess was chosen as Special Envoy on Literacy for Development in recognition of her "outstanding commitment to the promotion of education and her profound dedication to the Organization's ideals and objectives," a news release issued by the Paris-based UN agency said Thursday. She has already worked closely with UNESCO to promote reading among children and young people, and participated in its 2008 Regional Conference in Support of Global Literacy in Europe. The Princess serves as Chair of the Dutch Reading and Writing Foundation and Honorary Chair of the Dutch Association of Public Libraries. She is the patron of the Dutch language society and of the Netherlands Listening and Braille Library. "Princess Laurentien has a long record of fighting against illiteracy in the Netherlands, where it is now recognized as a problem that has been neglected," UNESCO Director-General Konchiro Matsuura said at the nomination ceremony. "As UNESCO Special Envoy, she will act as a spokesperson for the Organization and advocate for the cause of literacy as one of the building blocks for economic growth and development, and essential for the health and well-being of people everywhere," he added. At the nomination ceremony, Princess Laurentien also highlighted the need to work with developed nations to address the "uncomfortable truth" that a high proportion of adults in those countries do not have the skills required to meet the demands of daily life and work.