01.12.2009 -

Director-General visits UNESCO Brasilia Office

© UNESCODirector-General, Irina Bokova, and UNESCO Brasilia Office director, Vincent Defourny, during her visit to UNESCO Brasilia Office

Irina Bokova meets with UNESCO Brasilia Office secretariat and with authorities of Brazilian government on November 30. On December 1, she participates in CONFINTEA VI opening ceremony.

Brasilia, 30/11/2009 – First woman and only representative of East Europe to have the post of UNESCO Director-General, the Bulgarian Irina Gueorguieva Bokova arrived on November 29 to participate in the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI), which happens in Belem from December 01 to 04. The new Director-General, who took office in November 15 for a four-year mandate, met the UNESCO Brasilia Office staff on November 30. After that, she had meetings with authorities of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During her visit at UNESCO Brasilia Office in the morning, Irina Bokova spoke about the Organization’s responsibility in promoting its most important ideals, especially in a globalized world marked by the international ecnomic crisis. « We need to rescue our initial spirit of building peace in the minds of men and women, and to strenghten dialogue and respect among cultures » remarked Ms. Bokova. She emphacized that Brazil, as a multiethnic and multicultural country has a relevant role in the task.

The Director-General affirmed that 2010 will be a very good year for promoting cultural dialogue since it will be celebrating the United Nations International Year for Rapprochement of Cultures having UNESCO as the leading UN agency. The objective of the international year is to make cultures to get closer to each other following a policy of decisions made in local, national, and regional levels, and involving the greatest number of interested actors as possible. Ms. Bokova also reminded that an importat meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations will be taking place in Brazil next year, in which UNESCO will be partner.

« UNESCO is a formidable Organization that can give answers to what is happening in the world and with humanity » positively affirmed the DG. She said she is proud for being the first woman to take office as Director-General of UNESCO. «  We have the world’s challenge of reaching gender equality. There are many women that work, but they don’t reach the highest posts of society. I will work to equilibrate this situation » affirmed Ms. Bokova.

Irina Bokova participates in the opening ceremony of CONFINTEA VI on December 1, next to the Brazilian Minister of Education, Fernando Haddad, of the ex-president of Mali and founder of the United States of Africa Movement, Alpha Oumar Konaré, and of the Laurentien Princess of Netherlands, Special UNESCO Advocate on Literacy for Development.

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