05.11.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

“You can count on Brazil” says President Dilma Rousseff during visit to UNESCO

© UNESCO/Dou Matar - Brazilian President Dilma Roussef met with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the Organisation’s Headquarters on Saturday 5 November, 2011

The President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff met with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the Organization’s Headquarters on Saturday 5 November. The President said that she was delighted to meet the first woman to lead UNESCO and promised strong support to the Organization from her country.

“You can count on Brazil,” President Rousseff told the Director-General.

During their meeting, President Rousseff and the Director-General discussed plans for the Rio +20 summit, to be held in Brazil in June 2012. UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission will present a Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability to the Summit, which includes ten recommendations for improving the health of the oceans and their shorelines.

Both leaders recognized that Rio+20 will not solely focus on the environment but will address the broader issue of sustainable development – in which UNESCO has a special role to play. President Rousseff stressed that cultural diversity was of paramount importance  in Brazil. “I recognize the universal role of culture and consider that it is a way of helping people to live together, respecting differences and attributing value to all the diversity that we, humanity, are capable of creating,” the President stated.

The Director-General noted that “cultural industries drive development in many countries, and of course in Brazil, where music, theatre, crafts and tourism drive much of the economy. This generates income and helps social inclusion.”

The Director-General presented President Rousseff with the Portuguese edition of UNESCO’s eight-volume General History of Africa, which is currently UNESCO’s best-seller.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Irina Bokova said “We received strong support from Brazil. The President said that the decision to admit Palestine was very much welcomed by Brazil (…) and proved once again that UNESCO is an extremely important UN organization.”

UNESCO has been active in Brazil since 1964, and has extensive programmes in education, culture, science and communication. UNESCO recently appointed three new Goodwill Ambassadors from Brazil: Nizan Guanaes, Oskar Metsavaht and Vik Muniz.




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