In Moscow, Irina Bokova promotes new humanism in education and culture

© UNESCO/Dov Lynch - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova speaking at the Gymnasium 1306, a member of UNESCO's Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet). Moscow, Russia, 9 September 2011.

On 9 September 2011, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova had the honour of receiving the position of Honorary Professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, at the invitation of the Rector, Professor Victor Sadovnichy.

The Lomonosov Moscow State University is one of Russia’s oldest institutions of higher education and enjoys worldwide notoriety. Alumni include Boris Pasternak, Andrei Sakharov, Ivan Turgenev, Anton Chekhov, as well as more recently Andrei Okounkov – the Fields Medal laureate of 2006.

At a venerable ceremony that took place at the University on Sparrow Hills, one of Moscow’s commanding heights, Irina Bokova gave a speech on the theme of “New Humanism and the Defences of Peace in the 21st Century.” In this intervention, she stressed education and culture as two vital foundations for designing a more ethical, humanist model for development for the century ahead.

On the same day, the Director-General participated in the International Conference at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts on the theme of the “Humanist Foundations of Art.” The Conference was organized by Mr Zurab Tsereteli, President of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and an active UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Irina Bokova also had a working lunch with Mr Vitaly Ignatenko, Director-General of ITAR-TASS News Agency and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador along with the club of editors in chief. The discussion was free ranging, from trafficking of cultural goods to UNESCO’s role in tsunami early warning systems.

The Director-General also visited the gymnasium 1306, a member of UNESCO's Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) in Russia and one of the country's most dynamic schools of excellence. She was greeted by the school Director, Elena Sporysheva and met with students from all ages, enjoying a presentation of their artistic, linguistic and intellectual skills. “This is a school for new humanism,” declared Irina Bokova, “a school producing a new generation of leaders for the century ahead.”

While in Moscow, the Director-General also had the opportunity to visit the Bolshoi theatre, to observe the restoration works with which UNESCO has been associated, and which are close to completion.

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