08.09.2011 - ODG

Director-General examines cultural diversity with Russian President Medvedev

© The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation on the side-lines of the Global Policy Forum in Yaroslavl on 8 September 2011

In the setting of the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova held a bilateral meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, on 8 September 2011. They discussed the depth of Russian-UNESCO cooperation and the importance of taking these ever further in order to respond to rising global challenges.

Before a packed room of world renowned scholars and high-level officials from across the world, Irina Bokova spoke about ‘Supporting Cultural Diversity in a Globalized World’ at the Plenary Session of the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum. Her speech followed comprehensive interventions by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

The Director-General raised the dangers arising from global trends. “The fabric of society is quickly torn,” she said, “and long to mend.”

In a context of rapid and profound change, Irina Bokova underlined the importance of the UNESCO universal declaration on cultural diversity, whose tenth anniversary we celebrate this year. The declaration provides principles for understanding and managing diversity and for making the most of it for peace and security, as well as for solidarity, growth and development.

“Cultural diversity is a reality for our societies,” noted the Director-General, “it must also be a policy, one that unfolds in the context of democracy and pluralism.”

Other speakers during the Plenary Session of the Forum included the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics Paul Krugman, former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and the Polish American scholar and statesman, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

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