Diary 2012

Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2012, Berlin, Germany

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO delivering her lecture

13-15 December

 

 

By the invitation from the Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay attended as key-note speaker the 2012 Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy

 

dedicated to the theme of “The Power of Art & Culture to Promote Democracy & Global Peace”.

In her key-note speech on “UNESCO and Building Peace through Cultural Diplomacy”, the President stressed the important role that UNESCO has played since its creation in using cultural diplomacy to create global conditions in which culture of peace can spread to the regions where it is most needed. She remarked that UNESCO should be rightfully credited for its role in preserving culture and cultural diversity as the endless source of human interaction and exchange, including diplomatic exchanges.

Madam President participated in a panel discussion on the topic “Representation of Women in Politics” where she focused on the statistics of women in national parliaments, presented the main obstacles to women’s representation, and pointed to the measures to improve the situation. She also highlighted UNESCO’s involvement in helping promote women’s political participation and leadership, particularly through educating and training.

In the framework of her visit, Madam President held meetings with Ms Ulla Buchardt, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the German Bundestag, Dr Hans-Ulrich Seidt, Head of the Section “Culture & Communication” in the German Foreign Office and Mr Mark Donfried, Director and Founder of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO with Ian Gillian & Marcia Barrett from Boney M

During an exclusive gala evening event, including cultural performances from a number of international celebrities, Ms President introduced Ian Gillian, an English rock music vocalist and songwriter, from Deep Purple . She also moderated an interview with Ian Gillian and Marcia Barrett, one of the original singers with the vocal group Boney M.

H. E. Ms Bogyay had the opportunity to meet with Mr Henrik Nánási, the General Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin, and attended a performance at the opera.

 

Third meeting of the heads of UNESCO’s three governing organs

11 December

Following the decision to launch regular coordination meetings of the Heads of UNESCO’s three organs, the Director-General, Irina Bokova, the President of the General Conference, Katalin Bogyay and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, Alissandra Cummins, met, for the third time, on key issues related to the current situation of UNESCO, on 11 December 2012 at Headquarters. The summary of the meeting and the list of topics scheduled for discussion are now posted on http://www.unesco.org/new/en/member-states/single-view/news/Regular%20meetings%20of%20the%20Heads%20of%20UNESCO%E2%80%99s%20three%20Organs%20(3rd%20meeting)

 

 

Official Visit to the Sultanate of Oman

2-10 December 2012

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman and H. E. Mrs Samira Al Moosa, Permanent Delegate of the Sultanate of Oman to UNESCO, has invited the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, the Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Mrs Alissandra Cummins, as well as the ambassadors to UNESCO from Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Benin, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gabon, Germany, Holy See, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Yemen and Zimbabwe to take part in a cultural trip.

Meeting with H. E. Mr Bader Al Busaidi, General-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO and H.E. Mr Bader Al Busaidi, General-Secretary/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman

On the first day, Mrs Bogyay, Mrs Cummins, the Presidents of UNESCO electoral groups, and Chairpersons of the Group of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Group of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Group of 77 and China were received by H. E. Mr Bader Al Busaidi, General-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

They discussed various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes, and the prospects of closer cooperation with the Organization in the future.

From left: Alissandra Cummins, Chairperson/UNESCO Executive Board - Madiha Al Shaibani, Minister of Education/Oman -+ Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador, PermDel Russian federation/UNESCO - Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO Abdulla Ali Abdukka Musabbeh Alneaimi, Ambassador, PermDel United Arab Emirates/UNESCO

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO and Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamed Al Mahrizi, Ministry of Tourism/Oman

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO and Dr Yahya Mahfoodh Ala-Manthri, Chairman State Council of Oman

 

All the members of the delegation had the opportunity to meet, during official dinners and cultural visits, with

H. Exc. Dr Madiha Al Shaibani, Oman’s Minister of Education,

H. E. Mr Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mehrzi, Oman’s Minister of Tourism,

Dr Yahya Mahfoodh Al-Manthri, Chairman of State Council of Oman

and Dr. Hassan bin Mohammad bin Ali Al Lawati, Director General of Archaeology and Museums, Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

Frankincense Land/Salalah - H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf UNESCO with Mr. Hassan Mohammed Ali Al-Lawati, DirGen of Archeology and Museums and H.E. Mr Khalid Mohamed Farah El Fahal, Ambassador, PermDel Sudan/UNESCO

The Delegation attended cultural evening and a performance of Yasser Abdel Rahman with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Opera House in Muscat. They visited Nizwa Fort, Jibreen Court, the souq as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Bahla Fort, Falaj Daris, Land of the Frankincens and Salalah.

 

Visit Nizwa Fort, UNESCO world heritage site

 

 

Dr Samuel Pisar awarded with Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor

Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference – Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education and his wife, Judith Pisar

From left: Brigitte Fossey, Katalin Bogyay, Monique Raimond, Hedva Ser, Bea Pole-Bokor

On 28 November 2012, the insignia of the dignity of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor were awarded to Samuel Pisar by Nicolas Sarkozy at the Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honour, in the presence of Dr Pisar’s wife, Judith Pisar and their children. Dr Samuel Pisar, Polish-born Holocaust survivor, international lawyer and writer is a UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education.

 

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, was among the dignitaries attending the ceremony.

 

 

Soft Power Conference, Budapest, Hungary

23 November

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference, was invited by Prof. György Schöpflin, Member of the European Parliament, to take part in the Soft Power Conference as a keynote speaker.  After a video message by Professor Joseph Nye, the person who developed the concept of soft power, Madam President delivered her speech which focused on the role of UNESCO in transforming the world by “building the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women,” representing a vision of the world where the only legitimate power is soft. She underlined UNESCO’s unique soft power – the power of consensus, which helps the international community set global standards in areas that fall within its unique mandate – education, science, culture, communication and information.

 

 

Ceremony in commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg

21 November

The Hungarian and Swedish Permanent Delegations to UNESCO organized the 100th anniversary of birth of Raoul Wallenberg and his achievements, hosted by UNESCO. The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg made a unique contribution during World War II, by saving tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest from the Holocaust. His actions show that one person’s courage and ability can make a difference, and also serve as a model for us to stand up against persecution, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. 

Opening ceremony 100th anniversary of birth of Raoul Wallenberg - From left: Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General – Hedva Ser, UNESCO Artist for Peace - Anders Ahnlid, Ambassador PermDel Sweden – Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference – Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education

H.Exc. Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference – Opening ceremony 100th anniversary of birth of Raoul Wallenberg

H.Exc. Mr Anders Ahnlid, Ambassador PermDel Sweden to UNESCO & OECD– Opening ceremony 100th anniversary of birth of Raoul Wallenberg

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, opened the ceremony which took place in the presence of Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, Anders Ahnild, Ambassador Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Sweden to UNESCO and Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education who ga e a keynote remark. Ms. Lívia Rév, who was saved by Wallenberg, made a testimony as well.

In her speech, the President of the General Conference highlighted, in particular, the importance of the message of the path of Raoul Wallenberg in today’s world: “Have we learned enough about the History of the Holocaust? We have to never forget and stay vigilant.”

There were also music, an exhibition and a film “Good evening, Mr. Wallenberg”. 

100th anniversary of birth of Raoul Wallenberg – First row from left: Musicians Barnabás and Péter Somogyi - Mrs Judith Pisar

Inter-faith Dialogue Conference – Colombo, Sri Lanka

3-8 November

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H.E. Ms. Katalin Bogyay, was invited to participate in the Inter-faith Dialogue Conference organized in Sri Lanka from 3 to 8th of November, 2012. In order to reflect the true diversity of cultures, and in order to make an insightful contribution to the inter-faith dialogue, the President also invited the Ambassadors to UNESCO from Albania, Benin, Congo, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Holy See, Indonesia, Madagascar, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Serbia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates to take part in the inter-faith dialogue.

H.Exc. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, welcomes the delegation of Ambassadors to UNESCO led by H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference

H.Exc. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka discussing with Ambassadors to UNESCO

On the first day of the Conference, His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomed Mrs. Bogyay and the delegation of Ambassadors to his Residence.

H.Exc. Mr Bandula Gunawardhana/Minister of Education of Sri Lanka welcomes Delegation of Ambassadors to UNESCO led by H.Exc. Ms Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO GenConf, at the airport

Venerable Dr. Bodagama Chandima Thero welcomes Delegation of Ambassadors to UNESCO led by H.Exc. Ms Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO GenConf, at the hotel

From left: Venerable Dr. Bodagama Chandima Thero - Hon. Sarath Ekanayake/Chief Minister Central Province of Sri Lanka - Venerable Master Shi Chin Kung - Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO General Conference

 

During her opening address, Ms. Bogyay spoke to a large audience of the Conference, which included the authorities of Sri Lanka, as well as religious leaders, including Venerable Master Chin Kung and Venerable Dr. Bodagama Chandima Thero.

She stressed the importance to put to use the tremendous indigenous knowledge and vast cultural resources held within societies – a cultural know-how, to guide them towards peaceful coexistence.

She also highlighted the importance of culture in building sustainable peace, and the power of education in transforming people’s attitudes towards culture of peace.

 

The Ambassadors made a significant contribution to the interfaith dialogue by sharing with the large and diverse audiences attending the conference their personal views and experiences of using faith and spirituality towards bringing reconciliation and lasting peace in conflict-affected regions of the world.

Ambassadors’ intervention to the interfaith dialogue

Ambassadors’ intervention to the interfaith dialogue

Mr. Karunathilake Amunugama/Secretary Ministry of External Affairs & Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO General Conference

 

They had the opportunity to hold a meeting at the Presidential palace with the Secretary to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, the Secretary/Ministry of External Affairs, the Minister of Education, the Minister of National Heritage, the Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana, the Secretary/ Ministry of Education, the Secretary/ Ministry of Science, the Secretary/ Ministry of Environment and the Secretary/ Ministry of Culture and the Arts. The meeting was the occasion to discuss and exchange on various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes.

 

The visit served as a unique chance to understand the role that the inter-faith dialogue plays in reconciliation and in building harmony in Sri Lanka.

Venerable Master Shi Chin Kung and Delegation Ambassadors to UNESCO at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple

 

The reverence displayed by the Sri Lankan people and their religious leaders towards the plurality of beliefs and faiths on the island was highlighted, as well as the profound will of the people for a durable peace.

Delegation of UNESCO Ambassadors in front of Raja Maha Vihara Temple in Dambulla

Delegation of UNESCO Ambassadors in Botanic garden at Kandy

 

 

 

The visit also served as an occasion to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including

the Golden Temple of Dambulla,

the Ancient City of Sigiriya,

the Sacred City of Kandy, and

the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa.

 

 

L’OREAL national awarding ceremony, Budapest

29 October

By the invitation from Dr Katalin Ránky, l’Oreal Director for External relations, the President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay participated in the 10th anniversary of the annual award ceremony of l’Oreal in Budapest, held at the Academy of Sciences of Hungary.

The L'Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship Programme for Women in Science aims to highlight the important and growing role of women in science, which is often neglected of overlooked. The partnership between L’Oreal and UNESCO is a good example of collaboration to promote women’s participation in science, in Hungary and around the world. Since the creation of the prize, 31 fellowships have been issued in Hungary.

This year, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay presented the l'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowships in Hungary to three exceptional women scientists: Prof. Dr. Vértessy G. Beáta, Dr. Mátyus Edit and Dr. Szabó Dóra.

From left: Prof. Dr. Adám Veronika/President of the Jury, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO General Conference, Prof. Dr. Vértessy G. Beáta, Dr. Szabó Dóra, Dr. Mátyus Edit, First Lady Anita Herczeg, Mr Laurent Boukobza/pianist 2005 Steinway Artist”, Dr Katalin Ránky/l’Oreal Director for External relations

Remembrance of Sir Georg Solti, Budapest

26 – 27 October

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, took part in the official event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Georg Solti (1912-1997), one of the most preeminent conductors of the 20th century.

Hungarian Parliament - after the decoration ceremony of Lady Solti

From left: Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO General Conference - Jeremy Irons/English actor - Lady Valerie Solti – Hedva Ser/UNESCO Artist for Peace - István Szabó/Hungarian film director

From left: János Martonyi/Hungarian Minister Foreign Affairs - Katalin Bogyay/President UNESCO General Conference - Viktor Orbán/Hungarian Prime Minister - Ivan Fisher/conductor

The 26th of October is the Solti Remembrance Day at the Hungarian State Opera. This year, the commemorative event included an exhibition of the relics of Sir Georg Solti's life. Moreover, a debate remembering the life and accomplishments of the great Hungarian composer, chaired by András Batta, President of The Liszt Academy of Music, featured outstanding artists as participants, as well as a film screening, a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial tablet of Sir Georg Solti, a remembrance ceremony in front of a large audience, and a performance of W. A. Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Lady Solti, the widow of the Maestro, and H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, discussed the artistic accomplishments of the great conductor.  This ceremony was hosted by Szilveszter Ókovács, Acting General Director of the Hungarian State Opera. 

Ceremony at Farkasrét Cemetery to Solti grave, beside the remains of Bartók

 

 

 

ASEAN Awareness Forum, Budapest, Hungary

From right : Szabolcs Takács, Deputy State Secretary for Global Affairs/Hungary – Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference/UNESCO – Janos Martonyi, Hungarian Foreign Minister – Laura Quiambao-Del Rosario, Undersecretary International Economic Relations of Philippines

11 October

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference, was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary to take part in the ASEAN Awareness Forum as a keynote speaker. In her speech on Innovation, Science and Technology and Education, Madam President

 

underlined that promoting quality education and fostering scientific progress through international collaboration are two inter-related goals that are fundamental to UNESCO’s mandate to achieve durable peace and sustainable development. She focused on the new and exciting developments in promoting education and science, such as the newly launched initiative of the UN Secretary-General, “Education First!”, in which UNESCO will take a lead role.

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO had the opportunity to meet Ministers and Ambassadors from the participating ASEAN Member States to discuss further deepening the on-going collaboration between the two Organizations, in various spheres of UNESCO’s competence, including education and culture.

 

 

The 190th session of the Executive Board

3 to 18 October 2012

The President of the General Conference sits ex officio in an advisory capacity on the Executive Board (Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 9.1). On the 9th of October 2012, during its 190th session, the President addressed the Executive Board, noting the need to find a right balance between UNESCO as a place of bold, innovative and ethical thinking, and UNESCO as an institution that is closely engaged with the national governments and the institutions, making concrete and measurable impact on the ground. She stressed that UNESCO was created to represent the conscience of the humankind, and to provide a moral compass to the international community. Based on this mandate, UNESCO must offer ethical vision and guidance for humanity to address global challenges in all areas of its competence, focusing on the defining issues of our times. According to the President, in the 21st-century multilateralism, UNESCO will be a convener of people and ideas from across countries and cultures, bringing them together to address issues of common interest, and seeking the highest possible multiplier effect for the results UNESCO can achieve together with its partners. It is therefore imperative that the Member States do their utmost to adhere to UNESCO’s tradition of consensual decision-making. The President Congratulated the Director-General for the advancements made in the difficult process of reforming and modernizing the Organization, and for submitting to the Board her bold vision of future of UNESCO.

From left: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations - Alissandra Cummins , Chairperson of the Executive Board/UNESCO – Michael Millward, Director of Governing Bodies Secretariat/UNESCO – Katalin Bogyay, President of General Conference/UNESCO

Visit of the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon during the 190th Session of the Executive Board of UNESCO: 9th October 2012

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, visited UNESCO to hold talk with Director-General and address the 190th Session of the Executive Board. During a special ceremony attended by the President, the Chairperson of the Executive Board and the Director-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon presented the Organization with a natural science textbook printed by UNESCO in 1956 and distributed to school children, Ban Ki moon among them, in post-war Korea. The Secretary-General stressed the significance of UNESCO’s mandate in all fields of its competence, including education, and expressed his commitment to the cause of promoting quality education for all, which, through the “Education First!” initiative, has become a central theme of his second term. The President welcomed Mr. Ban Ki moon to the Executive Board, and noted that UNESCO exists to ensure that the peace for which the United Nations family strives for is a durable peace based on the dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values, and that education is the foundation of mutual understanding and therefore an absolute precondition for lasting peace.

 

 

International Humanitarian Forum, Baku, Azerbaijan

October 2012

By the invitation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay led a group of delegates representing 14 countries (Afghanistan, Honduras, Oman, Australia, Senegal, Albania, Portugal, Kenya, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Argentina, Lithuania, and Niger) to participate in the International Humanitarian Forum.

Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan – Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director-General of ISESCO – Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference of UNESCO

Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference of UNESCO – Mikhail Shvydkoy, President of Russian Federation Special representative for internl. coop. in culture

 

 

The official ceremony was opened by

 

the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,

 

the Special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for international cooperation in culture,

 

Madam President,

 

the Director-General of UNESCO through a video message,

 

and the Director-General of ISESCO.

 

 

Official opening ceremony of International Humanitarian Forum by H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President of UNESCO GenConf

 

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay addressed the distinguished audience and stressed that to address adequately the major global problems that confront humanity today, such as climate change, instability of financial markets, chronic underdevelopment and persisting inequalities, we need to start from promoting and reinforcing the right type of values, and redefining the very idea of how we relate to each other and to the environment in which we live in.

Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan welcoming UNESCO delegation

After the official launching ceremony, the Delegation led by the President of the General Conference met with the Azerbaijan's First Lady, H.Exc. Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, head of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. The First Lady noted that UNESCO is one of the authoritative world organizations and noted the role of UNESCO in addressing the questions raised at the International Humanitarian Forum in Baku.

 

UNESCO delegation meeting Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan

The delegation met Azerbaijan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. Exc. Elmar Mammadyarov and Minister of Culture & Tourism, H. Exc. Abulfaz Garayev, the Mayor of the Old City, Mr Michael Jabbarov.

UNESCO delegation meeting Abulfaz Garayev, Minister of Culture & Tourism of Azerbaijan

UNESCO delegation meeting Michael Jabbarov, Mayor of the Old City of Baku

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President of UNESCO General Conference - Mrs Rashida Dati, Mayor 7th arrondissement Paris & Member European Parliament

 

Madam President had the opportunity to meet few Mayors from different cities, e.g. Mrs Rashida Dati, Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris and Member of the European Parliament.

In the framework of their visit, the President and the members of the delegation visited several sites in Azerbaijan, such as in Baku, Nakhchivan, Ganja, lankaran and Gabala cities.

The visit of the delegation led by H. E. Ms Bogyay, President of the General Conference, was covered extensively by the media, including television, radio and press.

 

 

67th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York

September 2012

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, attended the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

She took this opportunity to participate in several events and meet high level officials.

2012 South-South Awards - Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO - Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

2012 South-South Awards – From left: Mumba Malila, Attorney General/Ministry Justice Zambia - Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO – R.K.K. Sichinga, Minister of Commerce, Trade & Industry of Zambia – Dr Tamás Lörinczy

 

 

Ms Bogyay attended the 2012 South-South Awards ceremony with Heads of State and Government, Ambassadors to the UN, top UN officials and other distinguished guests from private sector and civil society, to recognize efforts towards promoting Sustainable Tourism and initiatives that contribute towards advancing the Millennium Development Goals.

 

 

African First Ladies’ Roundtable - from left: Savannah Maziya, CEO/BUnengi group – Erieka Bennett, Head Mission/Diaspora African Forum – Herta von Stiegel, CEO/Ariya Capital – Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO – Amina Ali, African Union Mission/USA – Sheila Nutt, Director Educational Outreach Proograms/Harvard Medical School

African First Ladies’ Roundtable - from left: Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar, Ambassador of United Republic of Tanzania/USA – Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO – Salma Kikwete, First Lady of the United Republic of Tanzania

 

Madam President took part at a roundtable discussion with African First Ladies’ Roundtable on African Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

 

The roundtable discussion constituted a platform for Africa’s First Ladies by sharing ideas, discussed issues related on STEM partnerships, as well as the role of African women and girls in these fields.

 

This platform is designed to engage First Ladies to personally play the role of champions, and investigate issues that they can support collectively.

Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO & Anitta Kalinde, Minister Gender/Malawi

Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO & Mae Jemison, first African American woman Astronaut

 

 

In her statement H. Exc. Ms Bogyay underlined that the fight for gender equality as a fundamental human right will be the defining moral issue of the 21st century.

 

 

She noted that for UNESCO, promoting gender equality through women’s empowerment is a key to attaining the internationally agreed developmental goals, such as Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals, and should remain a critical element in the post-2015 development agenda.

 

Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO & Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

 

 

On the same day, she met with Ms Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women to discuss issues at the heart of UNESCO’s and UN Women’s work, such as empowering women and protecting their basic human rights.

 

Madam President was invited to a reception at MoMa for “Every Woman Every Child” initiative, which is an unprecedented global movement, spearheaded by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world.

 

Launching "Education First" - Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General – Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Launching "Education First" - Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO – Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of UNESCO General Conference, accompanied Mrs Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, at the launch of the UNSG’s Global Initiative to deliver quality education worldwide: “Education First!”, a five-year initiative sponsored by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. 

 

Education is the basic building block of every society. It is the single most important investment countries can make towards building prosperous, healthy and equitable societies. In the Secretary-General’s own words, “when we put Education First, we can reduce poverty and hunger, end wasted potential – and look forward to stronger and better societies for all.”

 

Madam President attended the event on “The Civil Society and the Education on Human Rights as a tool for promoting religious tolerance”. This event was organized and chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy, H.E. Mr Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, H. E. Mr Nasser Judeh. Mrs Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Mrs Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights were also present.

 

Katalin Bogyay, President GenConf/UNESCO & Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary Bureau Internl. Org. Affairs/US Department of State

 

H. E. Ms Bogyay held a meeting with

Dr Esther Brimmer,

Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs of the Unites States of America.

 

Meeting with Minister of Culture and Heritage of the Republic of Madagascar

From right: Mr Ny Toky Andriamanjato, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Deputy Permanent Delegate of Madagascar/UNESCO – H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO GenConf - H. E. Ms Elia Ravelomanantsoa, Minister of Culture & Heritage of Madagascar - Ms Bea Pole-Bokor, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Hungary/UNESCO – Mr Xhi RAJAOFETRA, one of keynote speakers

21 September

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO welcomed the Minister of Culture and Heritage of Madagascar, H. E. Ms Elia Ravelomanantsoa to exchange views about the importance of intangible cultural heritage and its preservation, as well as the global role of women.

 

Madam President also attended the round table discussions and the concert in the framework of the Days of Madagascar event series organized at UNESCO between 19-21 September.

 

 

Celebration of Science and Music – Tribute to János Szentágothai and Sir Georg Solti

14 September

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, organized the celebration of Science and Music to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of neuroscientist János Szentágothai (1912-1994) and conductor Sir Georg Solti (1912-1997).

H.E. Mrs K. Bogyay, President of UNESCO General Conference and the lecturers of the roundtable on János Szentágothai

In the morning, a roundtable was held on the theme “The Brain Odyssey of János Szentágothai, leading neuroscientists of our times, remembering the giant of the 20th century brain research and exploring ways forward”.

 

Many well-renowned experts participated in the debate, including Professor Bert Sakmann, a Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Rodolfo Llinas, New York University, US National Academy of Sciences; Professor Colin Blakemore, Fellows of the Royal Society, UK; Professor Zoltán Nusser, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Budapest; Professor Jean Pierre Changeux, College of France, Paris; Professor József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; and Dr. Miklós Réthelyi, President of the Hungarian National Commission of UNESCO.

 

 

Lady Valerie Solti, Patron of the World Orchestra for Peace

 

In the evening, in honour of one of the most eminent conductors of the 20th century, Sir Georg Solti, who was also a Global Ambassador for Peace, a concert was given by the Budapest Opera House Orchestra, conducted by Tamás Vásáry in the presence of Lady Solti. The concert was sponsored by the Permanent Delegation of Switzerland, and featured special guests: Tamsin Waley-Cohen - violon, Csaba Szegedi - baritone, and Veronika Dobi Kiss - mezzo soprano.

 

 

UNESCO Mozart Medal award ceremony. H.E. Mrs K. Bogyay, President of UNESCO General Conference – Maestro Tamás Vásáry – Mr F. Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture

 

 

In recognition of his outstanding talent and dedication to the universal values espoused by the Organization, the UNESCO Mozart Medal was awarded to Mr Tamás Vásáry, a world-renowned artist who contributed to fostering mutual understanding through the power of music, in particular through his long-standing commitment to youth and music education.

 

 

The Director-General’s Consultation with Member States and National Commissions for UNESCO of the Europe and North America Region on the Preparation of the Medium-Term Strategy for 2014-2021 (37 C/4) and the Programme and Budget for 2014-2017 (37 C/5)

© Vladimir Benko/MAE Slovaquie
From left: Ms Aurélia Füle, Secretary-General/Slovakia NatCom – H.E. Mr Igor Grexa, Amb. PemDel/Slovakia - Prof. Ludovit Molnar, Chairperson/Slovakia NatCom – H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO GenConf – H.E. Mr Peter Burian, State Secretary to Foreign Affairs of Slovakia - Dr. Eva Nowotny, President/Austria NatCom - Ms Gabriele Eschig, Secretary-General/Austria NatCom – Mr Eric Falt, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information

September 2012

Slovakia, Austria and Hungary jointly organized UNESCO’s Regional Consultation with Member States and National Commissions in order to discuss the future strategic direction of the Organization in the framework of preparing the Medium-Term Strategy and the Programme.

The meeting was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, from 9 to 12 September.

© Vladimir Benko/MAE Slovaquie
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO GenConf, at the opening session of the consultation on 37 C/4 and 37 C/5

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay addressed the diverse audience and stressed the importance of the work began during the 36th session of the General Conference to set UNESCO’s priorities in a way that best mobilizes its resources in response to the current and emerging global challenges.

 

© Vladimir Benko/MAE Slovaquie
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO GenConf – H.E. Mr Peter Burian, State Secretary to Foreign Affairs of Slovakia

She remarked that in the trying times ahead, there is no alternative to the vision of UNESCO as a sharper, more focused and agile Organization.

© Vladimir Benko/MAE Slovaquie
Family photo of participants to the DG’s Consultation with Member States & UNESCO NatCom/UNESCO of the Europe and North America Region on the Preparation of 37 C/4 and 37 C/5

The Salvatore Quasimodo Poetry Competition and Prize Award Ceremony in Balatonfüred, Hungary, 7-8 September, 2012

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, participated in the events dedicated to the Salvatore Quasimodo Poetry Competition and Prize Award Ceremony in Balatonfüred, Hungary, on 7-8 September, 2012.

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay in front of the tree planted in the alley known as Tagore Promenade

 

 

By planting a tree in the alley known as Tagore Promenade, the President continued the tradition started by Rabindranath Tagore upon his healing at the heart hospital in Balatonfüred, and marked the 20th anniversary of the Quasimodo Poetry Competition started in this town by Franco Cajani – Italian literary historian and poet. The President has been the patron of this Poetry Competition that serves as a cultural bridge between Italy and Hungary, and represents a universal symbol of the importance of poetry as means of cultural expression.

 

From left: Mr Franco Cajani, Italian literary historian & poet – H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference – Mr István Bóka, Mayor of Balatonfüred & Member of Parliament

 

The other patrons of the event – H. E. Ms Maria Assunta Accili, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy, Mr István Bóka, Mayor of the Town of Balatonfüred and Member of Parliament, Mr László Simon, State Secretary of Culture, Ms Gina Giannotti, Director of Instituto Italiano di Cultura Budapest (Italian Cultural Institute), and Mr János Szentmártoni, President of the Hungarian Writers’ Association, attended the tree-planting ceremony, held on 7th of September, 2012.

 

Mr László Simon, State Secretary of Culture of Hungary - H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference

 

The Prize Award Ceremony on the 8th of September 2012 was an occasion to recognize the winners of the Quasimodo Poetry Competition. Addressing a distinguished audience that included poets, literary critics, artists and government officials from Hungary and Italy, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO stressed the power of poetry to fight tyranny and its capacity to end violence and bring about peaceful coexistence. She highlighted the importance of preserving the linguistic diversity of humanity, and underscored the importance of UNESCO’s work in this field.

Prize Award Ceremony of Salvatore Quasimodo Poetry Competition

Ms Bogyay also took part in various events organized in the framework of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Poetry Competition, including the opening of “Master Lujos and his disciples” – the exhibition of sculptor Pál Kő, and a literary matinee in the garden of Hungarian Translator House.

 

 

Genfest 2012: “Let’s Bridge”. Budapest, 31 August – 2 September 2012

Opening ceremony of Genfest 2012 – “Let’s Bridge”

H. E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference, was invited by the President of the international NGO “New Humanity” to open and to take part in Genfest 2012, organized in Budapest

 

 

under the Patronage of UNESCO. The theme of Genfest 2012 is "Let's bridge" – dedicated to the imperative of building bridges of brotherhood and fraternity between persons, among communities, and across cultural and national borders.

 

H. Exc. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference and Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary

On 31st August 2012, the opening ceremony featured addresses by Budapest Mayor István Tarlós, by the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H.E. Ms. Katalin Bogyay, and a message of Pope Benedict XVI. In her speech, Madam President emphasized the potential of the youth to generate creative ideas to solve humanity’s pressing problems, and the power of unity across the existing cultural, ethnic, and social divisions to let these ideas spread for a truly global impact. The ceremony was followed by an evening of arts and performance by young musicians representing the five continents.

Budapest Sportarena – Twelve thousand young people over the world

On the second day, Maria Voce, President of the Focolare Movement, launched the United World Project, which aims to highlight and promote the brotherhood lived by individuals, groups, and nations.

 

 

The project will give birth to a Permanent International Observatory, recognized by the United Nations. In her message given during the launching ceremony, Madam President focused on the message of Ubuntu – a philosophy that recognizes the fundamental fact of human existence – that we are what we are because we belong; we participate; and we share. She urged the youth to take this principle beyond its place of origin in Africa to make it a global reality uniting the entire humanity in peace.

Budapest Sportarena – Twelve thousand young people over the world

Twelve thousand young people from different countries, ethnic groups, cultures and religions came together for this event in Budapest, all motivated by the same ideal: to live every day and every situation for universal brotherhood, to build a more caring and united world. Thousands followed the event in their countries through a world direct satellite television, live streaming and various social networks. Genfest was translated into 27 languages.

 

 

Closing ceremony of Olympic Games – London, 12 August

© Bogyay
Olympic flame before going out

 

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO,

H.E. Mrs. Katalin Bogyay,

attended the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 12 August.

 

© Bogyay
H.E. Mrs. Katalin Bogyay , President General Conference/UNESCO, Mr. Tomas Sithole, Director Department International Cooperation & Development/IOC

The President took this opportunity to meet Mr. Tomas Sithole, Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Development of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They discussed the ways to bring closer collaboration between UNESCO and IOC through actions to be undertaken as national and international scope to promote sport education, encourage Physical Education and Sport, fight against doping through the International Convention against Doping in Sport, the Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS), the socio-economic benefits of sport to decision-makers to increase investment in sport programmes and policy, etc.

© Bogyay
H.E. Mrs. Katalin Bogyay , President General Conference/UNESCO, Mr Tamás Aján, President International Weightlifting Federation, member IOC

 

 

As Ambassador of Hungary, H. E. Mrs. Katalin Bogyay had a special meeting with Mr Tamás Aján, President of the International Weightlifting Federation and member of the International Olympic Committee. They discussed how Hungary is willing to contribute in sport issues at UNESCO.

 

© Bogyay
London symbols on stage

© Bogyay
Good bye London/2012, see you in Rio/2016

Global Round Table. Split, Croatia, 12–13 July 2012

© Bogyay
City of Split

© Bogyay
From left: Mr. Hares Youssef, Philanthropist, President/Founder The 40 Foundation - H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference – Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H.E. Ms. Katalin Bogyay visited the historic city of Split, Croatia, to take part in the Global Round Table – an international network which was established in Hungary eight years ago under the patronage of the late Hungarian President Mr Ferenc Madl, and dedicated to the advancement of science internationally in service of common social good.

© Bogyay
2012 Global Roundtable, from right: H.E. Prof. Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania - Dr. Xiang Yu, Director International Exchange Center of HUST/Rapporteur - H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference UNESCO/Moderator – Mrs Rut Carek, Secretary-General Croatian Commission for UNESCO

© Bogyay
From right: H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference - H.E. Prof. Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania - Prof. György Schöpflin, Member European Parliament for Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union

© Bogyay
From left: Prof. Dr. Xiang Yu, Director International Exchange Center of HUST – H.E.Prof. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia - H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference – Mr Kai Zhao, Vice-President of World & China Magazine

 

The round table shares the belief of UNESCO that scientific cooperation across the national borders can be a foundation for world peace.

 

This year, the central theme of the Global Round Table was the preparation for The First Earth Supreme Level Award – TESLA, based on the vision of Mr. Hares Youssef, Philanthropist and Founder of The 40 Foundation, to recognize a combination of talent and hard work that can make a significant contribution to improving human society.

 

The spirit of this initiative reflects one of the core functions of UNESCO – to be the clearing house of ideas and a catalyst of international cooperation.  

  • Speech (PDF) - Opening Remarks
  • Speech (PDF) - Opening remarks as moderator of a roundtable concerning the rules and criteria for identifying committee members for TESLA prize.

© Bogyay
From right: H.E. Mrs Andrea Zlatar Violić, Minister of Culture - H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference UNESCO - Mrs Anđelka Visković, Deputy Mayor of Split

© Bogyay
H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President UNESCO General Conference - Ms. Tamara Perišić, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Culture of Croatia

 

 

H.E. Ms. Katalin Bogyay assisted with the opening of Split Summer Festival, which is a significant event in the cultural life of Croatia, held annually since 1956.

 

The aesthetically diverse programs includes theatrical performances, classical musical concerts and great operas, as well as puppet shows and dance performances. 

http://www.tportal.hr/kultura/kulturmiks/204335/Predsjednica-UNESCO-a-u-posjetu-Splitu.html

http://www.zadarskilist.hr/clanci/17072012/zadarsko-uvrstenje-obogatilo-bi-i-unesco-ov-popis-svjetske-bastine

 

 

 

In the framework of her visit, the President visited several historical and cultural sites, some of which have been inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage:

© Bogyay
City of Trogir

  • In Split, together with the city’s Deputy Mayor, the President viewed the historical Complex  with the Palace of Diocletian, as well as the Mestrovic Gallery and Kaštelet. 
  • The President visited the Historic City of Trogir.

© Bogyay
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference - Mr Zvonimir Vrančić, Mayor of Zadar

  • In Zadar,

    accompanied by the Mayor of the city,

    the President toured

    the Sacral Complex on

    the Remains of the Roman Forum,

    Archaeological Museum,

    the Museum of Ancient Glass, the Church of St Simeon,

    St Chrysogonus, Franciscan Monastery,

    as well as other cultural monuments

    and sites of the city.

     

© Bogyay
City of Zadar - The Church of St. Donatus


Acceptance of Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

28 June

 

© Bogyay
From left : Prof. Anton Muscatelli, Vice Chancellor & Principal, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Prof. Graham D. Caie, Clerk of Senate & Vice Principal

© University of Glasgow

 

 

During the graduation ceremony held on 28 June 2012, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay accepted the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, given for her life achievement in cultural diplomacy and her outstanding contribution to the Scottish-Hungarian cultural relations. The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world, founded in 1451, and carries the motto “Via, Veritas, Vita” (the Way, the Truth, the Life).

 

 

 

 

 

In her note of thanks, the President focused on the message of peace, based on UNESCO’s mandate, and called for spreading the culture of peace through respect of pluralism and diversity. She stressed the importance of intercultural dialogue, and lauded the University for its long-standing commitment to the values of UNESCO.

As part of her visit, the President paid a visit to the historic city centre of Glasgow, the Mackintosh House, the Glasgow School of Arts, and the Lighthouse Exhibition centre. She was also invited to see the Historic House of the Scone Palace in Perth – the crowning-place of the Kings of the Scots.

Ms. Bogyay held a special meeting with Prof. Richard Berry, Dean of Graduate and Professor of Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow, to explore possible collaboration between Glasgow University and UNESCO.

© University of Glasgow
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Prof. Richard R. Berry

2nd meeting of States Parties to the 1970 Convention, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

20 June

The President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay opened the session by welcoming to UNESCO Headquarters the representatives of State Parties to the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. She also welcomed the representatives of non-Party States attending the meeting, and expressed her wish to see them accede the instrument. In her speech she noted that illegal trade with objects of cultural value is a violation of human rights of the people whose cultural heritage is being pilfered, and as such, deserves a sustained focus by UNESCO and all the relevant stakeholders.

The President remarked that the 1970 Convention has proven in the 40 years of its existence its usefulness as a normative framework in the fight to eradicate illegal practices in the trade with cultural objects. She also noted the urgent need to implement the Convention more vigorously in order to better fight the illicit trafficking in cultural objects which deprives every day millions of people to enjoy their heritage for present and future.

 

 

Danube Carnival, Budapest

17 June

The President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, participated to the 17th Danube Carnival in Budapest, Hungary (11-17 June 2012).

H. Exc. Mrs Bogyay, patron of that event, opened the Gala, spectacular show on the open-air stage at the Margaret Island Open Air Theater, on June 17. The President of the General Conference emphasized the importance of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage programme through which the Hungarian “dance-house” method of teaching folk dance and music has been inscribed on UNESCO’s best practices list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 2011.  She stressed that the importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the knowledge and skills transmitted through it from one generation to the next.

Nearly 400 artists from Azerbaijan, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, India, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungarian State Folk Ensemble and Duna Art Ensemble met in Budapest to celebrate the joy of dance and perform during 10days long event.

The aim of the Carnival, organized by the Duna Art Company, is to enhance intercultural dialogue and to inspire new productions presenting the most significant national and regional cultural achievements and trends.

 

“What Future and What Challenges for UNESCO?”

14 June

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, welcomed the participants of the Round Table organized by Group of 77 and China at UNESCO Headquarters, with a message of unity. She expressed her hope that the occasion would serve as an opportunity to think together constructively towards finding solutions for the common problems UNESCO is facing.  The President congratulated the Group of 77 and China with the 48th Anniversary.

 

 

UNESCO Future Lecture - Towards a Sufficiency Economy: A New Ethical Paradigm for Sustainability: In Homage to the Philosophy on “Sufficiency Economy” by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

11 June

 

The President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay opened the Conference dedicated to the Philosophy on “Sufficiency Economy” by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, organized in the framework of UNESCO Future Lectures.

 

 

 

 

In her welcoming speech, the President recalled her recent visit to Thailand to celebrate inter-faith dialogue with the World Buddhist Assembly, which was also an opportunity to observe first-hand the efforts of Thai authorities to promote the sustainable economic development balanced with the spiritual needs of the population. She stressed the necessity to counter the challenges arising from rapid globalization with innovative, bold and ethical thinking, an excellent example of which is the people-centered philosophy of “sufficiency economy” espoused by His Majesty. The Conference was followed by the inauguration of UNESCO exhibition dedicated to the practice of the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

Inauguration of UNESCO exhibition dedicated to the practice of the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Meeting with Vice-Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia

7 June

 

The President of the General Conference held a meeting with H. Exc. Ms. Arev Samuelyan, Vice-Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, who was attending the fourth session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO Headquarters.

 

 

H. Exc. Ms. Samuelyan informed H. Exc. Ms. Bogyay on the activities in the framework of “Yerevan – World Book Capital 2012”, since her last visit in April in Armenia.

 

Meeting with Sangita Gairola, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of India

© K. Bogyay
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Ms Sangita Gairola, H. E. Mr Vinay Sheel Oberoi

6 June

 

The President of the General Conference met with Ms Sangita Gairola, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of India, accompanied by H.E. Mr Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Ambassador, and Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO.

 

 

 

The meeting was the occasion to discuss the relationship between UNESCO and India, and possible collaborations of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Amrita Sher-Gil, painter (1913-1941) in 2013, as recommended to the General Conference in 186 EX/Decision 32 and 187 EX/Decision 38 of the Executive Board.

Amrita Sher-Gil was an eminent Indian painter born to a Punjabi Sikh father and a Hungarian mother, and today considered an important woman painter of 20th century.

 

Second meeting of the heads of UNESCO’s three governing organs

4 June

Following the decision to launch regular coordination meetings of the Heads of UNESCO’s three organs, the Director-General, Irina Bokova, the President of the General Conference, Katalin Bogyay and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, Alissandra Cummins, met, for the second time, on key issues related to the current situation of UNESCO, on 4 June 2012 at Headquarters. The summary of the meeting and the list of topics scheduled for discussion are now posted on

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/member-states/single-view/news/summary_of_the_recent_meeting_of_the_heads_of_unescos_three_governing_organs/

 

 

Designation ceremony of Ms Alexandra Ochirova as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (2012-2014)

© UNESCO/L. Rukingamubiri
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference - H.E. Ms Eleonora Mitrofanova, Amb.PermDel/Russian Federation - Ms Alexandra Ochirova

4 June

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference, assisted in the designation ceremony of Ms Alexandra Ochirova as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, by the Director-General of UNESCO in recognition of her efforts to raise public awareness on UNESCO’s universal message and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

 

Mrs Ochirova is a member of several international academic associations and other nongovernmental organizations, and is actively involved in organizing different international events and conferences. She is a Member of the Russian Union of Writers, and has been an Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts since 2011.

 

 

The Fourth session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

4 June

The President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay opened the session by welcoming to UNESCO Headquarters the representatives of State Parties to the Convention for Safeguarding of the ICH. In her speech she noted with satisfaction the increasing popularity of the Convention, attested by the 143 ratifications to this date, and urged the non-Party participants to accede to this important instrument designed to protect and nurture our intangible cultural heritage. She also remarked on the long-standing commitment of her country, Hungary, to the Convention and its implementation, and gave examples of notable Hungarian composers who have endeavored to collect and preserve traditional melodies from Hungary and beyond, and used them in their own creative work. After an active membership of the General Assembly of the Convention in 2006-2010, Hungary will run for membership again in 2014.

 

 

Interfaith Dialogue in the World Buddhist Assembly. Bangkok, 21 – 25 May 2012

By the invitation from the President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, the President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay led the delegation of 14 Ambassadors to UNESCO (Albania, Argentina, Congo, Indonesia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Serbia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay) to participate in the International Interfaith Dialogue Convention, in celebration of the 2,600 Year Anniversary of the Buddha's Enlightenment, as well as the Anniversaries of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 85th Birthday, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's 80th Birthday and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn's 60th Birthday.

Leaving to the Ceremony of the Royal Birthdays. From left: Besiana Kadare/Amb.PermDel Albania - Carmadi Machbub/Amb.AlternatePermDel Indonesia - Jean-Marie Adoua/Amb.PermDel Congo - Papa Momar Diop/Amb.PermDel Senegal - Samira Mohamed Moosa Al Moosa/Amb.PermDel Oman – Master Ching Kong - Katalin Bogyay/Amb.PermDel. Hungary, Pres.Gen.Conf. - Abdelhafiz Elawad Seedahmed Alfaki/Dep.PermDel Sudan - Ny Toky Soloniandry Andriamanjato/Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Madagascar - José E. Bustinza/Chargé d’Affaires a.i Peru

The President commenced her visit on Monday the 21st of May, together with the members of the delegation, at Vajiravudh College and Aksra Theatre – the launching venue for the celebration of the Sambuddha Jayanti, a Buddhist religious festival. Speaking to a large audience of distinguished personalities, including the Ambassadors, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay underlined the role of women in inter-faith dialogue, which is often undervalued and underutilized, despite its tremendous potential for spreading the culture of peace universally. 

On the following day the delegation of Ambassadors, headed by the President of the General Conference took part in the ceremony of honouring the Royal Birthdays of their Majesties the King, the Queen and the Crown Prince.

 

Keynote speakers at the International Interfaith Dialogue Convention

Meeting with Master Ching Kong. From left & behind: Chargé d'Affaires Hungary in Thailand - Carmadi Machbub/Amb.AlternatePermDel Indonesia - Cristina G. Ortega/Amb.PermDel Philippines - Ny Toky Soloniandry Andriamanjato/Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Madagascar - José E. Bustinza/Chargé d’Affaires a.i Peru - Jean-Marie Adoua/Amb.PermDel Congo - Papa Momar Diop/Amb.PermDel Senegal - Samira Mohamed Moosa Al Moosa/Amb.PermDel Oman – Orachart Suebsith/Dep.PermDel Thailand - Agron Budjaku/Amb.PermDel Macedonia - Katalin Bogyay/Amb.PermDel. Hungary, Pres.Gen.Conf. - Master Ching Kong - Zorica Tomic/Amb.PermDel Serbia - Abdullah Alneaimi/Amb.PermDel United Arab Emirates

On Wednesday 23 May, the President was invited to open the session of the International Interfaith Dialogue Convention. She welcomed the participants and emphasized the strategic importance of fostering venues for inter-religious and inter-faith dialogue, where people from various religious backgrounds can openly share their views, and seek together those universal commonalities that can bring them closer together as human beings.

 

The President and the members of the delegation had a special meeting with Master Ching Kong.

 

Visit to UNESCO Office in Bangkok

The delegation took the opportunity to pay a visit to the UNESCO Office in Bangkok, where they were welcomed by the Deputy-Director of UNESCO Office, Mr Etienne Clément. They visited the exhibitions and held a meeting featuring a presentation of the activities of the office by Mr Clément. The President congratulated the staff of the office for ensuring highest quality of technical inputs delivered with full accountability; their flexibility in meeting the evolving needs of Member States and programme priorities; and their efficiency in carrying out UNESCO's mission through a coordinated action with other UN agencies in the country.

 

Meeting with Dr. Sasithara Phichaicharnnarong, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education of Thailand

In front of the statue of King Rama VI at the Ministry of Education. From left & behind: Carmadi Machbub/Amb.AlternatePermDel Indonesia – José E. Bustinza/Chargé d’Affaires a.i Peru - Santiago Wins Arnábal/Dep.PermDel. Uruguay - Ny Toky Soloniandry Andriamanjato/Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Madagascar – Abdelhafiz Elawad Seedahmed Alfaki/Dep.PermDel Sudan - Papa Momar Diop/Amb.PermDel Senegal – Jean-Marie Adoua/Amb.PermDel Congo – Orachart Suebsith/Dep.PermDel Thailand – Besiana Kadare/Amb.PermDel Albania - Cristina G. Ortega/Amb.PermDel Philippines – Katalin Bogyay/Amb.PermDel. Hungary, Pres.Gen.Conf. – Elisabeth Wimpfheimer/Dep.PermDel. Argentina - Dr. Sasithara Phichaicharnnarong, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education of Thailand - Samira Mohamed Moosa Al Moosa/Amb.PermDel Oman – Zorica Tomic/Amb.PermDel Serbia – Ms Churairat Sangboonnum, Deputy Secretary-General of the Thailand National Commission for UNESCO

 

 

 

 

 

On the same day, H. Exc. Mrs Bogyay met Dr. Sasithara Phichaicharnnarong

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Delegation was invited to a dinner organized by the Minister of Education and had the opportunity to discuss various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes in that sphere as well as the relationships between UNESCO and the Kingdom of Thailand.

 

 

H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay at Wat Pho, known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

 

In the framework of their visit, the delegation of Ambassadors headed by the President visited several places of key cultural, religious and historical significance, such as Wat Pho, known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and other sites inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage, such as the historic City of Ayutthaya.

 

 

Visit Chao Sam Phraya National Museum in the historic City Ayutthaya


Visit of Wat Chai Wattanaram in the historic City of Ayutthaya, site inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage, accompanied by the Site Manager

Visit of World Heritage site affected by flood last year (2011)


Panathlon International: Conference on “Sport: world without barriers” and Congress on “Integrity in sport: tools, development, structures”

Enrico Francescelli/Prefect Syracuse - Sergio Allegrini/Secretary General Panathlon International

Left to right: Enrico Prandi, President/Panathlon International - Luca Pancalli, President/Italian Paralympic Committee.& Vice-Pres. Italian National Olympic Committee

18 May

By the invitation from Panathlon International, the President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay participated in the Conference on “Sport: world without barriers the 18th, followed by the International Congress on “Integrity in sport: tools, development, structures”.

In her opening speech for the Conference, the President emphasized the role of sports in promoting healthy lifestyle and advancing positive values, especially amongst youth, and stressed that it is a shared human right for all to have access to and participate in sports and physical education.

 

Addressing the Congress of Panathlon International, the President stressed the important role that UNESCO is playing as a standard-setter and capacity-builder, and gave examples of concrete projects and initiatives UNESCO is implementing in partnership with such important global stakeholders as Panathlon International.

Mariella Muti, Head Culture Department/Mayor Office in Syracuse

In the framework of her visit, the President visited historic Syracuse, which offers a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilization over three millennia and is listed as a UNESCO World heritage Site, and also accepted the invitation by Mr Roberto Visentin, Mayor of Syracuse, for a dinner after a performance at the Greek theatre that is also part of the UNESCO world heritage site.

 

Panathlon International - Gala dinner given by the Mayor of Syracuse


Working meeting with Heads of UNESCO Electoral Groups

3 May

A working meeting involving the heads of the electoral groups of UNESCO was hosted by the President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay at her residence, to facilitate sharing of thoughts and ideas and to hear the views from the electoral groups in the lead up to the second trilateral meeting of the President, the Director-General, and the Chairperson of the Executive Board.

The discussion focused on the prevailing financial situation at UNESCO and its impact on human resources, programmes, and priorities of the Organization. A special emphasis was placed on the significance of UNESCO’s political role as a platform for multilateral diplomacy – the role that is even more pertinent in the face of the current challenges. This role will be essential in the evaluation of the relevance and effectiveness of the Organization by the Member States. In this light, maintaining focus on several key issues becomes imperative, including:

  • the need to convey to the Member States and broader external audiences regular and clear information about the work of UNESCO in its spheres of competence, focusing on results;
  • the need to provide clear indication of the progress achieved to date in regards to the two global priorities of UNESCO – gender equality and Africa.
  • the need to promote consistency and transparency of priority-setting in regards to the spending of the emergency funds of the Organization – which priorities are accorded importance, and following which criteria?

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay will convey the outcomes of this gathering during the next meeting of the heads of UNESCO’s three Organs, with a view to consolidating the common efforts to guide the Organization through the difficult times ahead.

 

 

Signature of the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape

© Landry Rukingamubiri/UNESCO
Katalin Bogyay, Irina Bokova, Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General/Sector of Culture, Kishore Rao, Director World Heritage Centre

7 May

The President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms  Katalin Bogyay, and the Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova signed the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, approved at the 36th session of the General Conference of UNESCO (36 C/Res.41). This recommendation represents an important standard-setting instrument concerning historic urban landscapes and promotes innovative approaches to preserving important cultural heritage and managing cities of historical significance. It allows the Member States to take the appropriate steps towards adapting this new instrument to their specific national contexts, and to monitor its impact on the conservation and management of historic cities.

 

 

Annual World Fair Play Award Ceremony

© International Fair Play Committee/IFPC
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President General Conference/UNESCO – Mr. Sunil Sabharwal, International Fair Play Committee treasurer

© International Fair Play Committee/IFPC
Left to right: Mr Cipriano Barreto (Mexico)/IFPC Council member – Ms Laura Vaca Hernandez (Mexico)/Jean Borotra World Trophy recipient – H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay/President General Conference/UNESCO - Dr. Jenő Kamuti (Hungary)/IFPC President

April 28

By the invitation from the International Fair Play Committee, the President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay participated in the Annual World Fair Play Award Ceremony held in Gödöllő, Hungary. In her opening speech, the President remarked the importance of promoting values in sports, not only as means to ensure fairness on the field of competition, but also as a tool for educating children and youth, and instilling in them the positive values that will serve as guiding principles in their lives. In an official ceremony, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay awarded, in the category Sports Career in the spirit of Fair Play, the Trophy Jean Borotra to Ms Laura Vaca Hernandez, a swimmer from Mexico, recognizing her outstanding athletic career and her commitment to values of sportsmanship.  

This year, the following recognitions were made during the ceremony:

© International Fair Play Committee/IFPC
Left to right: Mr Cipriano Barreto (Mexico)/IFPC Council member – Mr Philippe Housiaux (Belgium)/Promotion of Fair Play Diploma recipient – Mr Erhan Yavuz (Turkey)/Pierre de Coubertin World Trophy recipient – H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay/President General Conference/UNESCO - Ms Laura Vaca Hernandez (Mexico)/Jean Borotra World Trophy recipient – Mr Attila Czene/Minister of State for Sport of Hungary - Dr. Jenő Kamuti (Hungary)/IFPC President

© International Fair Play Committee/IFPC
Pal Szekeres (Hungary)/Willi Daume World Trophy recipient - Attila Czene/Minister of State for Sport of Hungary - Dr. Jenő Kamuti (Hungary)/IFPC President

Category I: Act of Fair Play

Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy:

  • Erhan Yavuz – Horse-riding, Turkey

Diplomas:

  • Katrin Green – Athletics, Germany
  • Antonio J. Leal Pina – Fencing, Venezuela
  • Andy Schleck – Cycling, Luxemburg
  • Ivan Tkachenko – Ice-hockey, Russia

Category II: Promotion of Fair Play

Willi Daume World Fair Play Trophies:

  • Erika Miklósa – Opera singer, Hungary
  • Pál Szekeres – Fencing, Hungary

Diplomas:

  • Ben Groen –Barefoot waterskiing, New Zealand
  • Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles – Belgium

Category III: Sports Career and Life in the Spirit of Fair Play

Jean Borotra World Fair Play Trophies

  • Walter Kilger – Table-tennis, Germany
  • Laura Vaca Hernandez – Swimming, Mexico

 

 

Official Visit to the Republic of Armenia (21-25 April 2012)

© Bogyay
H.Exc. Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia - H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay

© Bogyay
Opening ceremony-Official transfer of the UNESCO World Book Capital reception

© Bogyay
Official transfer of the UNESCO World Book Capital reception - opening dance

 

The President of the General Conference, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay started her official visit to the Republic of Armenia, on the occasion of the opening of Yerevan – World Book Capital 2012. Yerevan was selected to host this prestigious title after Buenos Aires, Argentina, which held the title in the year 2011. The following year – 2013, it will be the turn of Bangkok, Thailand, to be the World Book Capital.

 

 

 

The official launch of the Yerevan – World Book Capital 2012 was hosted by the President of the Republic of Armenia, His Excellency Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, and featured high representatives of the Government of Armenia, including the Prime Minister and Ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Ministers of Culture from Latvia, Romania, Egypt, Lebanon, Argentina, and Tajikistan, among others. The Mayors of Buenos Aires, Yerevan and Bangkok were also in attendance.

 

 

 

 

 

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay addressed the distinguished audience with a speech focused on the importance of books as mediums for transmitting knowledge between generations, and ever-important tools for education around the world. She welcomed the close and fruitful cooperation between Armenia and UNESCO in many areas of the Organization’s fields of competence, including the preservation of intangible cultural heritage. Calling for the protection of the diversity of all expressions of intangible cultural heritage, the President highlighted the importance of promoting literary globally, and congratulated the City of Yerevan and the government of Armenia with receiving this prestigious and honorable title.

© Press office of Government of Armenia
H.E. Mr. Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister/Republic of Armenia Mr. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General/UNESCO - H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference/UNESCO

© Bogyay
H.E. Mrs K. Bogyay, Mr. G. Engida at Matenadaran, Institute of Ancient Manuscripts

After the official launching ceremony, the President of the General Conference, together with the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, met H.E. Mr. Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, as well as Mr. Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, to discuss various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes, and the prospects of closer cooperation with the Organization in the future.

 

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, together with the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Engida Getachew, visited the repository of ancient manuscripts– Matendaran, where she attended the Conference “Cultural policy and policy for culture: culture for development,” organized by the UNESCO’s Moscow office.

 

© Bogyay
His Holiness Karekin II, H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, Mr. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO

© Bogyay
H.E. Mrs K. Bogyay at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

Later, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay was hosted by His Holiness Karekin II in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Apostolic Church and the Pontifical Residence of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholics of All Armenians.

 

Speaking to a large audience that included Ambassadors from more than thirty countries, the President remarked the richness of the country’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which is part of the heritage of the entire humanity. She emphasized the imperative to celebrate diversity, to reach out and understand the cultural heritage of others, and to channel the energy stemming from the incredible diversity towards building peaceful relationships between the peoples of the world.

 

© Bogyay
H.E. Mrs Hasmik Poghosyan, Minister of Culture of Armenia - H.E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay

In the framework of her visit, the President visited several sites in Armenia, some of which have been inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage, such as Arpi Natural reserve, Noravank Monastery complex, Geghardavank World Heritage Site and its Monastery, Sanahin Monastery, and Haghpat Monastery. During her visit to Garni Historical and Cultural Museum-Reservation, which is the recipient of 2012 Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO-Greece), H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay met with H.E. Ms Hasmik Poghosyan, Minister of Culture of Armenia, and discussed the importance of protecting and promoting the cultural heritage.

 

 

Paris-Nishan Forum

16 April

Aware of the need for academicians, politicians and civil society from everywhere to rally for the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind, UNESCO and the Confucius Institute of the People's Republic of China have joined forces to host the Paris-Nishan Forum on "Confucianism and New Humanism in a Globalized World" at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 16 April 2012.

Opening the special session dedicated to “Harmony through diversity and the New Humanism,” the President of the General Conference stressed the need learn to respect each other’s cultures, and underlined the full awareness of one’s own cultural background as the necessary first step towards celebrating other cultures and traditions.

 

 

Visit to London

12-13 April

The visit of the President of the General Conference to London, United Kingdom, by the invitation of His Highness Sultan Bin Muhammad Al-Quasimi, focused on the occasion of the British publication of the second volume of the autobiography of His Highness, titled „Taking the Reins.” The presentation of the book took place on 12th of April at the Natural History Museum in London.

As part of her visit, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay explored different venues of cooperation in the spheres of UNESCO’s competence, especially the preservation of cultural heritage, with Ms Catherine Leonard, Head of Secretariat of the International National Trust Organisation (INTO), during a meeting at Clarence House.

On 13th April, the President met Mr Michael Anderson, the Director-General of the Policy and Global Programmes of the Department For International Development (DFID), as well as with Lady Valerie Solti, with whom she discussed the events organized in the framework of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Georg Solti.

 

 

GendEra International Conference on Gender Equality in Stuttgart

© Bogyay
Dr Petra Puchner, Managing Director, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum - H.E. Katalin Bogyay - Dr Dora Groo, Coordinator of GendEra Project, Director of the Hungarian Science and Technology Foundation

© Bogyay
H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Mr Wolfgang Schuster, Mayor of Stuttgart and President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions

19-20 March

On March 19, the President of the General Conference gave a keynote speech on “UNESCO and the Global Priority of Gender Equality” at the opening of the International Conference  “Maximizing Innovation Potential Through Diversity in Research Organizations,” organized by GendEra in Stuttgart, Germany, from 19 to 20 March 2012.. H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay stressed the importance of gender equality for UNESCO, discussed current activities and programmes in the area of women’s empowerment, and highlighted UNESCO’s commitment to address inequalities in gender by striving for exemplary gender balance within the Organization.

In the framework of her visit, the President visited the Weissenhof Estate, built for exhibition in Stuttgart in 1927, representing the original conception of experimental housing as a social, as well as architectural, innovation. 

 

On the same day, the President was invited by Mr Wolfgang Schuster, Mayor of Stuttgart and President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, to a dinner, to have an opportunity to discuss various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes, including the creative cities.

 

 

Round Table “highest potential of women for peace and international understanding”

© Rukingamubiri-UNESCO
Ms. Orachart Suebsith, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Thailand/UNESCO, Ms Katalin Bogyay, Venerable Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta

© Rukingamubiri-UNESCO
Ms. Orachart Suebsith, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Thailand/UNESCO, Venerable Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta

16 March

On March 16th, a renowned Buddhist nun Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta shared with the participants of the special Round Table her insight into breaking the cycle of violence in communities, based on the decades’ long humanitarian efforts she has undertaken in Thailand, and especially at Sathira-Dhammasathan Center that she founded in Bangkok in 1987 as a place of learning for the community, where people seek ways to let go of their ignorance and be happy in doing their duty for the betterment of the world. Organized in the framework of the International Women’s Day and the related activities

 

 

at UNESCO, the Round Table was dedicated to the reflections on “highest potential of women for peace and international understanding.” In her welcoming address, the President of the General Conference stressed the role of women in reconciliation and peace building, as well as in fostering inter-cultural understanding, and thanked Ms Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta for coming to UNESCO to share her invaluable insights and experiences with the rest of the world. After the roundtable, the President had a personal meeting with Ms Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta during which they discussed the specific projects that the venerable nun has set up, such as the internet workshop for conducting interface and intercultural dialogue.

 

 

Meeting with H.H. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qassimi, President of the project “Knowledge without borders”

©Julie Fahed-UAE
H.H. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qassimi, H.E. Katalin Bogyay, Mr Rashid Mohamed Al Kous, Director “Knowledge without borders” project

16 March

The President of the General Conference met with H.H. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qassimi, the President of the project “Knowledge without borders,” an organization that provides books to the vulnerable populations, especially to the children in need from the countryside. The meeting was the occasion to discuss the role of languages in promoting cultural diversity, the need to protect languages to preserve culture and identity, and the contribution of UNESCO, especially through promoting translation of books into foreign languages.

 

 

 

International Women’s Day at UNESCO - 8 March

Special address to the Executive Board

The President of the General Conference, together with the Director-General and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, opened the special meeting of the Executive Board dedicated to the International Women’s Day, and delivered a speech focusing on the fight of women in conflict and post-conflict situations, and the untapped potential of women to act leading roles in peace building and reconciliation.

Opening of the exhibitions on the occasion of the International Women’s Day

© Bogyay
Ilona Keserü

The President of the General Conference joined her colleagues the Ambassadors of several Member States, and the Director-General of UNESCO during the inauguration of seven artistic exhibitions by women artists from Algeria (Lindart and Fazia Kerred), Dominican Republic (Miriam Calzada), Germany (HRH Princess Béatriz Von Hohenlohe and Uschi Madeisky),

 

Hungary (Ilona Keserü), Malaysia (Anisa Abdul Rahim), Tchad (Nathalie Rey) and Uruguay (Rita Fischer, Elena Porteiro, Cathy Burghi and Charo Alvarez). The President welcomed the Hungarian artist, Ilona Keserü to UNESCO, and thanked her for contributing her artistic work to the exhibition. 

© Rukingamubiri/UNESCO
Left to right: H. E. Mr Mohd Zulkifli Bin Mohammed, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Malaysia to UNESCO – H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Hungary to UNESCO – Mr Lahcène Bessikri, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Algeria to UNESCO - H.E. Mrs Martina Nibbeling-Wrießnig, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO - H. E. Mr Mahamat Saleh Adoum Djerou, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Chad to UNESCO - H. E. Mr Omar Mesa Gonzalez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Uruguay to UNESCO - H. E. Mrs Rosa Hernández C. de Grullon, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Dominican Republic to UNESCO

The 189th session of the Executive Board: 27 February - 10 March 2012

© Cyril Bailleul/UNESCO

The President of the General Conference sits ex officio in an advisory capacity on the Executive Board (Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 9.1). On March 2, 2012, during its 189th session, the President addressed the Executive Board, reporting on the work under her leadership by the Working Group on Working Capital Fund, outlining the existing challenges, noting the achievements and good practices by the Member States and the Secretariat in handing the financial situation, and urging the Member States to send a clear and united message to the world concerning UNESCO’s commitment to the Universal principles that form its core mandate.

 

 

Awarding Ceremony of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for persons with Intellectual Disabilities 2011

29 February

Morning of 29 February was the occasion of holding the Awarding Ceremony of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for persons with Intellectual Disabilities 2011, which was awarded to Professor Douglas Biklen of Syracuse University. The President of the General Conference of UNESCO, together with the Chairpersons of the regional groups of UNESCO attended the Award Ceremony. His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, was also present at the Ceremony.

 

© Bogyay
Left to right: Prof. Douglas Biklen - Mr Abdullatif Ahmed Al-Baijan, Secretary-General, Kuwait National Commission for UNESCO - H.E. Dr. Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Kuwait – H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait - H.E. Mr Ali Ahmad Al Tarrah, Ambassador of Kuwait to UNESCO - Mrs Tamader Al Sdeirawi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Education of Kuwait

High level meetings and gala diner

© Bogyay
Left to right: H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference – H.E. Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait - H.E. Dr. Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Kuwait - H.E. Mr Ali Ahmad Al Tarrah, Ambassador of Kuwait to UNESCO

© Bogyay
Right to left: Zorica Tomic, Amb, PermDel of Serbia to UNESCO & Chairperson of the Eastern Europe Group - Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference – H.E. Dr. Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Kuwait - Gisele Marie Hortense Ossakedjombo-Ngoua Memiaghe, Amb, PermDel of Gabon to UNESCO & Chairperson of G77 Group - Douglas Biklen (USA), laureate 2011 UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize - Zohour Alaoui, Amb, PermDel of Morocco to UNESCO & Chairperson of the Arab Group - Elizabeth Paula Napeyok, Amb, PermDel of Uganda to UNESCO & Chairperson of the Africa Group

28 February

Continuing her official visit to Kuwait, H.E. Ms. Katalin Bogyay met the delegation of high authorities of the country, including Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Education and Higher Education, to discuss various aspects of the country’s cooperation with UNESCO.

 

 

 

A gala dinner hosted in the honor of the recipient of UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for persons with Intellectual Disabilities 2011. During this occasion, the President addressed the guests and participants with a speech dedicated to the prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit to the Art Studio of Thuraya Al-Baqsami and the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait

©Bogyay
Katalin Bogyay, Thuraya Al-Baqsami

27 February

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay paid a visit to the art studio and gallery of Ms Thuraya Al-Baqsami, who is considered one of Kuwait's most renowned female artists. For over three and a half decades, Thuraya Al-Baqsami has promoted the use of the arts as a vehicle for positive intellectual and social transformation. Woman’s narrative forms the core of her rich and complex body of work.

The programme of the President also included the visit to the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait, which houses a collection of over thirty thousand items including the rare examples of calligraphy, manuscripts, miniatures, ceramics, metalwork, as well as carvings from glass, jade, wood and stone.

 

 

Meeting with the authorities of Kuwait

© Bogyay
From right to left: Mr Abdullatif Ahmed Al-Baijan, Secretary-General, Kuwait National Commission for UNESCO - Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference -Dr. Ali Ahmad Al Tarrah, Amb, PermDel of Kuwait to UNESCO

From right to left: Zohour Alaoui, Amb, PermDel of Morocco to UNESCO & Chairperson of the Arab Group - Gisele Marie Hortense Ossakedjombo-Ngoua Memiaghe, Amb, PermDel of Gabon to UNESCO & Chairperson of G77 Group - Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference - Mrs Tamader Al Sdeirawi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Education of Kuwait - Dr. Ali Ahmad Al Tarrah, Amb, PermDel of Kuwait to UNESCO - Mr Abdullatif Ahmed Al-Baijan, Secretary-General, Kuwait National Commission for UNESCO

27 February

On 27th February 2012, H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, held a meeting in Kuwait with Dr. Ali Ahmad Al Tarrah, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Kuwait to UNESCO, and Mr Abdullatif Ahmed Al-Baijan, Secretary General of the Kuwait National Commission for UNESCO, followed by a press conference.

The President is visiting the country by the invitation of the Government of Kuwait on the occasion of the Awarding Ceremony of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for persons with Intellectual Disabilities 2011, to be held on 29th of February, 2012.

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The Meetings of the Working Group on Working Capital Fund

In response to the financial situation that arose after the withholding of regular contributions by certain Member States to UNESCO’s budget, the General Conference mandated the President to convene a Working Group to formulate recommendations for the 189th session of the Executive Board concerning the desirability of a new level of Working Capital for the Organization. In line with this resolution, the President convened the Working Group, chaired by herself, composed of the incumbent Chair plus three members of each Regional Group, and open through the enhanced participation formula to all Member States.

 

 

To fulfill its mandate, the Working Group met on three occasions (21 December 2011, 19 January, and 15th February, 2012) to examine the financial situation at hand, to assess the need for setting a new level of the working capital fund of UNESCO, and to formulate recommendations on this issue for the Executive Board.

In order to transform the rich and fruitful discussions that took place among the Member States and the representatives of the Secretariat into concrete recommendations, a special drafting group was established, which produced the recommendations for the Executive Board. The recommendations were adopted by the Working Group at its third and last meeting on 15 February 2012.

 

 

 

Signing ceremony – International Institute for Peace

©UNESCO - Forest Whitaker, Katalin Bogyay, Getachew Engida

7 February

 

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference, assisted in the signing ceremony for the establishment of the International Institute for Peace (IIP) as a category 2 Institute under the auspices of UNESCO. The IIP was co-founded by

 

Mr Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation and Chairman of the IIP, Mr Also Civico, Director of the Institute, both of them present at the ceremony. The agreement was signed by Ms Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Philippe Yeagle, Chancellor of Rutgers University, and H.E. Mr David T. Killion, Ambassador of the United States of America to UNESCO.

 

 

Dinner in honor of Lady Valerie Solti

Samuel Pisar, Irina Bokova, Kalin Mitrev, Lady Solti, Katalin Bogyay

1st February

H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, the President of the General Conference, hosted a dinner in honor of Lady Solti, the widow of Sir Georg Solti and Global Ambassador of Hungarian Culture. During the event, Lady Solti and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, discussed possible collaborations of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Georg Solti (1912-1997), one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. Solti, an indefatigable activist for the cause of global peace, is also the founder of the World Orchestra of Peace. The musicians of the Orchestra were awarded by Ms Irina Bokova the title of UNESCO Artist of Peace. The celebration of the Solti anniversary, by the initiative of the Permanent Delegation of Hungary to UNESCO and supported by the Permanent Delegation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO, as well as the Permanent Delegation of Switzerland to UNESCO, was approved by the 36th session of the General Conference of UNESCO. The celebration in UNESCO will take place with international artists on the 14th of September.

 

Strengthening partnership the International Committee for Fair Play

30 January

On January 30th, the President of the General Conference met with Dr. Jenő Kamuti, President of the International Committee for Fair Play. UNESCO is the only agency within the UN system that has a mandate in sport, and it has been working closely with partner organizations and institutions to revitalize and promote sporting values and ethics. Fair play is a crucial principle that gives sport its character, beauty and dignity, and as such, is an important aspect in UNESCO’s efforts to promote sport worldwide, especially among the youth. The meeting was dedicated to exploring ways to strengthen the cooperation between the two organizations in pursuit of common objectives.

 

UNESCO artists meet to celebrate cultural diversity

29 January

The Residence of the US Ambassador to UNESCO, H. E. Mr David Killion, was the venue for the meeting between the renowned American Jazz Pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mr Herbie Hancock and Márta Sebestyén – Hungarian folk vocalist and UNESCO Artist for Peace. Márta Sebestyén is one of the leading voices of folk music in Hungary and a prominent representative of a variety of musical traditions and musical idioms in Central and South Europe. Mr Herbie Hancock was in Paris to launch 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO, in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 30 January, which featured a concert by the jazz legend himself, with performances by Corinne Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding, Manu Katché and Stephen Brown.

 

 

Dr Samuel Pisar named UNESCO Special Envoy for Holocaust Education

27 January

Dr Samuel Pisar, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor, international lawyer and writer, was designated  by the Director-General as a UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education. 

On 27 January, at the ceremony at UNESCO’s Headquarters on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust, the President of the General Conference spoke about the importance of reconciliation, the role of the poets after Auschwitz, the need of understanding the past and of transimtting the lessons of history to the future generations. She focused in her speech on extraordinary people, like Raoul Wallenberg, who have risked their lives to save others from the deadly grip of the Nazi regime. After the ceremony, the President  invited the heads of the regional groups to the Shoah Memorial Centre, to accompany the Director-General in paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

 

 

The Launch of Regular Meetings of the Heads of UNESCO’s Three Organs

26 January

The Director-General, Irina Bokova, the President of the General Conference, Katalin Bogyay and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, Alissandra Cummins held talks on 26th January 2012 on current issues surrounding the life of UNESCO.

The Director-General first briefed the elected Heads of the Organization’s two Governing Bodies on the financial difficulties facing the Organization, action taken so far to address immediate cash shortfalls at the end of 2011, plans for the 2012-2013 biennium, and the longer-term action planned in the framework of overall UNESCO reform towards greater administrative efficiency and sharper programmatic focus. 

Both the President of the General Conference and the Chairperson of the Executive Board commented on the broad support of Member States for the Director-General’s action and indicated areas where greater information is needed. It was acknowledged by all three Heads of UNESCO’s institutional bodies that the times were difficult but that UNESCO should strive to forge ahead with all its important work.

 

 

 

 

The Arab Spring - One Year Later - Egyptian Perspectives

©Permanent Delegation of Egypt
UNESCO Future Forum "The Arab Spring - A Year After - Egyptian Perspectives

©Permanent Delegation of Egypt to UNESCO
Concert on the occasion of the UNESCO Future Forum "The Arab Spring - A Year AFter - Egyptian Perspectives"

24 January

 

Twelve months after the start of the Arab spring, on 24 January 2012, a UNESCO Future Forum “The Arab Spring- One Year Later - Egyptian Perspectives” was held at UNESCO Headquarters. The recent developments in Egypt, as well as in the broader Arab Region, and their impact on politics, society, culture and education were discussed by eminent personalities including H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the General Conference, Mr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, President of the National Egyptian Commission of Human Rights and former Secretary-General of the United Nations,

 

 

Mr Dominique Baudis, France’s ombudsman and former President of the Arab World Institute (Paris), Mr Robert Solé, Egyptian-born French writer and journalist; Mr François Heisbourg, Chairman of The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS, London), and Mr Antoine Basbous, Director of the French "Observatoire des pays arabes".

In her opening speech, Ms Bogyay stressed “the crucial role that women have played in extending the credibility of each of these uprisings”, and noted that the “success of these revolutions needs to be measured by the degree that the new regimes are able and willing to protect the rights of women, to engage women in the reform and in the decision making processes, and to promote gender equality in all spheres of social and political life.”

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