Visit UNESCO Beijing Office
15 December 2014
The Director and Representative of UNESCO’s Beijing cluster office, Mr. Abhimanyu Singh welcomed, before retirement, the President of the General Conference, to the office on 15 December 2014.
Mr. Singh introduced all staff to Mr. Hao Ping, and shared a short power point presentation on the Beijing Office and its key achievements in the five cluster countries (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea).during his six-year tenure.
The President of the General Conference thanked Mr. Singh for his services saying that “Under Mr. Singh’s leadership, the Beijing Office has achieved much. I encourage Mr. Singh to continue to work for China and UNESCO with his personal charisma.”
Mr. Hao Ping also paid tributes to Mr. Singh “for his contribution which maintained the relationship between China and the cluster countries.” He observed that following President Xi Jinping’s visit to UNESCO Headquarters earlier this year, “China and UNESCO have entered the best phase of cooperation.” He reiterated that the ultimate goal of UNESCO was to bring peace and development to its Member States through Education, Culture and Sciences.
Addressing the staff and referring to the upcoming annual Staff Day, Mr. Hao Ping wished the “Beijing Office ‘family’ from 10 different countries” good health and prosperity in the New Year and the Chinese Year of the Sheep.
Official visit to Cambodia
30 November – 3 December 2014
On the invitation of H. E. Mr Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers and President of the National Commission for UNESCO of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H. E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, was invited to pay a visit to Cambodia. The main purpose of the visit was to strengthen the cooperation between Cambodia and UNESCO and to attend the official launching of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Preah Vihear.
During his visit, the President was invited to meet Her Majesty the King Mother Monineath Sihanouk at the Royal Palace
H. E. Mr Hao Ping had also an audience with His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia, in the Royal Palace.
On 1st December, H.E. Mr Hao Ping met with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, at the Peace Palace.
The President congratulated him for the recent restitution to Cambodia of the five masterpieces of the 10th century Khmer sculptures and for the success of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor), and expressed his support to the establishment of the ICC-Preah Vihear Temple. He affirmed that as co-chairs China and India will do their best for the great success of the ICC-Preah Vihear.
On 2nd December 2014, H.E. Mr Sok An accompanied the President and a delegation of ambassadors to Cambodia to visit Preah Vihear Temple, inscribed in the World Heritage List in 2008, and for which UNESCO’s Executive Board, in October 2014, welcomed the proposal to set up an International Coordination Committee (ICC) for future coordination to protect, preserve and develop this cultural heritage site. On the way to the Temple of Preah Vihear, and in the framework of a reforestation plan, the President of the General Conference has contributed to it by planting a tree (Dalbergia Cochinchinensis).
On 3rd December 2014, the ICC Preah Vihear held its inaugural session at the headquarters of the APSARA National Authority, in Siem Reap, aiming at developing a technical cooperation program in the field of heritage between the Kingdom of Cambodia and friendly countries, donors and partners. In his thanking words, Mr Hao Ping said that the preservation of the world heritage is a shared responsibility within the international community. The ICC-Preah Vihear will play an important role in promoting international cooperation to protect and restore the world heritage site, he said at the ceremony. He called for further cooperation and efforts to preserve the exceptional quality and outstanding universal value of the site. "The preservation and transmission of world heritage for future generations are important for the development of societies, and it helps strengthen the foundations of peace". He expressed his confidence that the ICC-Preah Vihear will closely follow UNESCO's key principles of peace, understanding, cooperation and development.
The 1st session of ICC was co-chaired by China represented by Mr Du Yue, Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO, and by India represented by H.E. Mr Dinesh Patnaik, Ambassador of India to Cambodia.
President Hao Ping took the opportunity of this mission to visit the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh. After the presentation of each service of the office by Ms. Anne Lemaistre, Director of the Office, Mr. Hao Ping appreciated the work of UNESCO’s office of Phnom Penh and encouraged the teams to pursue the organization’s goals in order to reach the objectives of UNESCO. He also visited the National Museum, where the five masterpieces of 10th century Khmer sculpture recently restituted to Cambodia are exhibited, as well as the Royal Palace.
Beijing Forum 2014 – China
7-9 November 2014
H.E. Mr HAO Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of China, extended his invitation to attend the Beijing Forum 2014 “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All – China and the World: Tradition, Reality and Future” which was held in Beijing from 7 to 9 November.
In the presence of numerous personalities, UNESCO's Deputy Director General Mr Getachew Engida and the Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong opened the Beijing Forum 2014.
Among the guests of honor to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Forum 2014, the former prime minister of France, Mr Dominique de Villepin, the former prime minister of the Republic of Korea Mr Han Seung-soo, the Chinese Minister of Education H.E. Mr. Yuan Guiren, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Mr Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General Ambassador Joseph V. Reed.
The ambassadors to UNESCO of Azerbaijan, Benin, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Philippines and Qatar attended the Forum.
A roundtable on “How to Preserve and Promote the Intangible Heritage” held at the Beijing National Museum, was attended by UNESCO delegates and in the presence of H.E. Mr. Cai Wu, Chinese Minister of Culture.
It was also the opportunity to visit World heritage sites as the Great Walls and the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing known as the Forbidden City.
Homage to Nelson Mandela at launch of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebrations (UNESCO Headquarters)
31 October 2014
The ceremony held at UNESCO Headquarters on Friday, October 31 marked the start of celebrations marking UNESCO’s 70th anniversary that will continue throughout 2015.
It was opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, in the presence of the President of Haiti, Michel Martelly, guest of honour, who declared “Today the world is under serious threat,” he said. “People are increasingly radicalized. We need another Mandela to help us overcome extremism and fanaticism, before it’s too late.”
Among the many celebrities who attended were Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s Minister of Arts and Culture; Professor Iba Der Thiam, representing President of Senegal Macky Sall; Sameh Amr Mohamed, Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board; and Jean Chabi Orou, Ambassador of Benin and President of the Africa Group at UNESCO.
H. E. Mr Hao Ping, President of UNESCO’s General Conference and Vice-Minister for Education of China, in his intervention, highlighted that the launching of the 70th anniversary celebration with paying homage to Nelson Mandela echoes UNESCO’s aim of mission, as his achievements and his bringing are concrete examples of what UNESCO can produce in the minds of women and men. He recalled the vivid experience he had during President Mandela’s visit to the Beijing University of China, and stressed that honoring the memory and commitment of Nelson Mandela is an encouragement and motivation for us, as he stands as our beacon in the pursuit of peace. He concluded by stating that: “to survive from the storm we are currently facing, our hands needs to be joined, our efforts needs to be unified; we should gaze together into our common future. Only from the solidarity can we reach the sustainable peace, this is what Nelson Mandela taught us, and I believe, this is what we should always keep in heart.”
- Speech (pdf)
The tribute was followed by several outstanding artistic performances. The event was graciously supported by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece and the Delegation of China to UNESCO.
Governance in UNESCO: The role of the Executive Board
31 October 2014
The Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Ambassador Mohamed Sameh Amr, invited Mr Martin O’Malley, Inspector General of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to make a presentation to Members of the Executive Board on the theme of “Governance”. This information meeting with Board members was open to other Permanent Delegations and Observers to UNESCO, and was held in the presence of the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova.
The participants were informed that the Global Fund had just undergone a governance survey, and in the coming weeks Mr O’Malley will present his findings to its Board.
This meeting was fully in line with the General Conference’s decision, as found in 37 C/Resolution 96, and was an excellent opportunity for Members of the Board and representatives of the Permanent Delegations and other observers to meet and exchange points of views with specialists, including Mr O’Malley and Mr Hervé-Adrien Metzger, Director of the External Audit of UNESCO.
Subsequently a genuine exchange of views took place amongst the participants, which was warmly welcomed by all delegates. Some Members of the Board took advantage of this meeting to share their proposals for the future of UNESCO
Noting that “good governance is the common concern of all Member States”, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, Mr Hao Ping said that the “fundamental factor to ensure UNESCO's capacity in providing best services to its Member States was better governance”. Noting the Chinese word for crisis consisted of two characters, which means danger and opportunity respectively, he also said “through creative thinking and constructive ideas, the danger that UNESCO is facing could turn into an opportunity.” Also, he concluded by saying that “improved governance would help the Organization to meet crucial challenges for the future.”
- Speech (pdf)
The President of the General Conference held meeting
On Thursday 30 October 2014
Agreement with China’s Perfect World to support President of the General Conference’s activities - UNESCO Headquarters
28 October 2014
H.E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of China, attended a signing ceremony of agreement between UNESCO and China’s Perfect World, a leading integrated online game service provider focused on developing, operating, marketing and servicing online games.
World Perfect made a financial contribution of US$ 100,000 to contribute to the emergence of a global consciousness in favour of the ideals and practice of mutual understanding and non-violence; and to foster on international cooperation, solidarity and reconciliation.
The ceremony was attended by personalities of Perfect World, Ms. Wang Yuyun, Senior Vice President; Mr. Peng Binge, Chief Strategy Consultant; Mr. Pan Jian, Vice General Manager; Ms. Zhang Yajie, Assistant Manager.
Mr Du Yue, Secretary-General of the National Commission of China for UNESCO, H.E. Mrs Zhang Xiuqin, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Permanent Delegation of the People's Republic of China to UNESCO, witnessed the ceremony.
On behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Jacques Rao, Director of the Secretariat of the Governing Bodies, signed the agreement, expressed the Organization's gratitude for this generous donation and underlined the strength and importance of UNESCO's cooperation with China.
The President of the General Conference held meeting
On Monday 27 October 2014
H.E. Mr Joao Sebastiao Teta,
State Secretary for Science and Technology of Angola,
H.E. Mr Diekumpuna Sita Nsadisi José,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Angola to UNESCO
H.E. Mr Ket Sophann, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Cambodia to UNESCO
Official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran
22-26 October 2014
On the invitation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H. E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference, paid a visit to Iran.
The main purpose of his visit was to inaugurate the newly inscribed Site of Shahr-e Sokhteh, as Iran’s 17th World Heritage Site, in recognition of its outstanding universal value. Shahr-e Sokhteh, meaning ‘Burnt City’, is located near Zabol in the East of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The remains of the mudbrick city represent the emergence of the first complex
societies in eastern Iran at the junction of Bronze Age trade routes crossing the Iranian plateau.
The ceremony was, firstly, held at the University of Zabol where was celebrated the registration of the 5200-year-old Burnt City on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
A stele bearing a copy of the certificate of registration of the Burnt City on the UNESCO list was also unveiled byH. E. Dr Masud Soltanifar, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Director of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), the representative of the Supreme Leader in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, and H.E. Mr Hao Ping in front of the Burnt City site-specific museum. They also visited the museum after the unveiling ceremony.
In his address, Mr Hao Ping spoke to a large audience underlining the important of safeguarding heritage of Outstanding Universal Value for future generations and congratulating the Government of Iran for its commitment towards the protection of their cultural heritage for the benefit of humankind.
- Speech (pdf)
The president Hao Ping had the opportunity to hold meetings with:
Dr. Hossein Salar-Amoli
Deputy Minister for International Cooperation at the Ministry of science, research & technology together with the Deans and representatives of Universities that have cooperation with China
The visit also served as an occasion to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including:
- The museum in Zahedan
- In Kashan, the main cultural heritage sites, including Fin garden, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2012
- In Tehran, the Golestan Palace, lavish palace and masterpiece of the Qajar era, became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example. It was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
In Tehran, the President took this occasion to pay a visit to the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, located in Sa’adabad Cultural and Historical Complex. The meeting featured a presentation of the activities of the Office. The President congratulated the staff of the office for ensuring highest quality of technical input 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.
Ceremony to mark the new location of the statue of Sri Aurobindo – UNESCO Headquarters
21 October 2014
At the invitation of H.E. Mrs Ruchira Kaamboj, Ambassador of India to UNESCO and H. E. Dr Karan Singh, Member of Parliament of India and Representative of India to the Executive Board, H.E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference attended the ceremony to mark the new location of the statue of Sri Aurobindo. Now, the great sage Sri Aurobindo, an immense philosopher, a scholar, a poet, who started his life fighting for India’s freedom and who, in captivity, launched a lifetime exploration of the unlimited potential for good and creativity of the human soul, looks onto the Garden of Peace with his penetrating expression and humble demeanour, so eloquently expressed by the talented artists of Calcutta.
195th Session of the Executive Board
20 to 30 October 2014
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 20 October 2014, during the 3rd plenary meeting of the 195th session of the Board, H.E. Mr Hao Ping thanked the Chairperson of the Executive Board for his enabling leadership and congratulated the Director-General for her extensive and inspiring report.
He reminded the audience that, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our Organization, it is worth remembering how UNESCO has helped to reconcile peoples who were once war enemies, how it has significantly helped the independence movement of developing countries, and has facilitated countless networks across the world for exchange, cooperation and action, covering all fields of intellectual life.
He expressed his satisfaction in regard to the unique strengths of UNESCO -- which have put forward relevant concepts, such as “Education for all”, “world heritage”, “cultural diversity”, ”new humanism ” as well as its leading ideas and flagship projects, such as “Africa Priority, and Gender Equity”, “Global Education First Initiative”, “culture for sustainable development”, “creative cities networks”. Earning the Organization international respect, and making it worthy of its reputation as “world’s think-tank”.
He concluded by stressing that to maintain and carry forward our role, it is require that all members states join hands, in studying the global emerging challenges, characteristics of our time, and invite each state to further mobilize the resources in different ways, in view to relight the vitality, dynamism and value of UNESCO, with the conviction that its mission has never been more important than today.
- Speech (pdf)
Global Education First Initiative - “Quality Education for the World We Want”
24 September 2014
On 24 September 2014, the President of the General Conference and Vice-Minister of Education of China, Mr Hao Ping, attended the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) High-Level Event, opened and chaired by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, with State Leaders and Ministers from the majority of Champion countries, namely Andorra, Bangladesh, Benin, China, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guyana, Republic of Korea, Mozambique, South Africa, Tunisia and the United States (represented by First Lady Ms Michelle Obama) as well as Norway, UNESCO's Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, UN Special Envoy Gordon Brown and the principals of UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women, and the heads of Education International, the Global Campaign for Education and the Global Partnership for Education.
It was a major advocacy event in which, Mr Hao Ping, after recalling the importance President Xi Jinping of China attached to the Global Education First Initiative, underlined that prioritizing the development of education and its sustainability is a national policy of fundamental importance to China. He informed the audience that the Chinese government at different levels has increased their input in education to implement the strategy of rejuvenating the nation through education and science. He indicated that balanced development of education between urban and rural areas, and equal opportunities for students is the guiding principles for educational development in China. He concluded by pledging that China, one of the champion country of the Global Education First Initiative, will do its utmost in partnership with other member states of UNESCO, especially African and under-developed countries, to support and participate the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Visit of Vice Prime Minister of People’s Republic of China at UNESCO Headquarters
18 September 2014
The President of the General Conference accompanied the Vice Prime Minister of China, Ms Liu Yandong during her visit at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters.
Vice Prime Minister Ms Liu met the Chinese staff at UNESCO and then formally opened the exhibition devoted to the “Silk Roads and Creative Cities”, during which Mr Hao Ping was the master of ceremony and took the opportunity to highlight the role of cultural diversity and cultural cooperation to foster sustainable development and peace.
H. E. Ms Liu Yandong offered to Ms Irina Bokova, a panda in bronze, by the very famous sculptor, Mr. Ye Yushan.
The President of the General Conference held meeting
On Thursday 11 September 2014 with:
H. E. Ms Dolana Msimang,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of South Africa to France,
Permanent Delegate to UNESCO
H.E. Mr Diekumpuna Sita Nsadisi José, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Angola to UNESCO
H.E. Mr Ahmad Jalali, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of the Republic Islamic of Iran to UNESCO
Celebration the 20th anniversary of the Slave Route project (UNESCO Headquarters)
10 September 2014
To break the silence around the Slave Trade, UNESCO launched the Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage, a global initiative to promote the rapprochement of peoples through the shared legacy of this tragedy. On 10 September, UNESCO had celebrated the project’s 20th anniversary at its Paris headquarters, following its 37th session of UNESCO's General Conference Resolution (37 C/Res1.VI) requesting the Director-General "to develop and implement a programme of activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project in different regions of the world".
Since its launching in 1994, the Project has had a significant impact. Its leadership helped secure the official recognition of the Slave Trade as a crime against humanity in 2001. Working through a range of cultural and educational programs, the Project enhances awareness of this slavery and its consequences. For UNESCO, remembrance is a key part of the fight against racism. Transmitting the history of the slave trade strengthens the foundations for peace, and deepens respect for human rights.
H. E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference and Vice-Minister for Education of China, stressed the importance of reinforcing the capacity building of the population of Africa and its descents, through education and cultural exchange. Noting that the impact of the slave trade and slavery continues to delay, to some extent, the development of Africa, in particular in regard to the exclusion, poverty and inequality inherited from this tragedy and experienced by people of African origin in the different regions of the world today.
- Speech (pdf)
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, opened the ceremony, followed by illustrious speakers, such as Marcus Miller, UNESCO Artist for Peace and Spokesperson for the Slave Route Project; Christiane Taubira, French Minister of Justice; Michäelle Jean, UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti.
The ceremony began solemnly with the majestic soaring, around the symbolic globe, of seventy doves, suggesting the symbolic 70th anniversary of UNESCO. The celebration granted a special place for women in honour of the crucial role they played in the resistance against slavery and the transmission of culture and memory, roles often gone unnoticed.
Musical traditions, born from the Slave Route, were also performed.
Sciences Po Paris
On Monday, August 25, 2014, at the invitation of Mr. Frederic Mion, Director of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Institut d'études politiques de Paris), H. E. Mr. Hao Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of China, visited Sciences Po, renowned for the quality of its teaching and its requirement.
The president also held a meeting with the leaders of the Institute, during which they exchanged views on the way to teach social sciences and international relations as well as on various issues related to UNESCO's programmes.
Agreements between UNESCO and the Ministry of Education of China on Junior Professional Officer and Internships Programmes – UNESCO Headquarters
3 July 2014
H.E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of China, attended a signing ceremony of the Cooperation Agreements on the establishment of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) and the Internships Programme between the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, represented by Ms Liu Jinghui, Secretary General of the China Scholarship Council, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
These agreements will provide an opportunity for young university graduates and junior qualified professionals to acquire work experience in multilateral and technical cooperation, to obtain training and exposure to UNESCO’s work at its Headquarters, Field Offices and Institutes. Those are the first agreements ever been signed between China and the United Nations System.
H. E. Ms Zhang Xiuqin, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of China to UNESCO, Mr Du Yue, Secretary-General of the National Commission of China for UNESCO, Mr Engida Getachew, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO witnessed the ceremony. The event was covered by Chinese mass media: Xinhua, CCTV, Renmin Daily, Phoenix TV.
Attendance in Executive Board’s Information Meeting (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris)
H. E. Mr. Hao Ping, President of the General Conference, attended the Executive Board’s Information Meeting with the Director-General, held on Thursday 3 July 2014. In his intervention, he recalled the important role of these meetings and the need to sharing information
regarding the multiple activities undertaken since the last session of the Executive Board. He informed the Board of his recent official visits to New York for the UN Debate, to Kuwait for the Quality Education, to Baku - Azerbaijan for the World Forum for Young Scientists, to Doha - Qatar for the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee, and to Amman - Jordan. He thanked the Director-General and the members of the Board for their contribution to the International Conference on Language, which adopted the “Suzhou Declaration” - a referential guideline for language policies. He concluded by inviting each member to keep the same determination and will, stating that “when people are united with a single will, they are as strong as city walls.”
- Speech (PdF)
Inaugural Meeting of the “UNESCO: Future Prospects" initiative on “UNESCO’s role and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda” - UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
2 July 2014
At the invitation of H.E. Mr Mohamed Sameh Amr, Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, and within the framework of the Executive Board’s Decision on “UNESCO at 70 and Future
Prospects” (194 EX/Decision 31), the President of the General Conference attended the inaugural meeting of this initiative.
The meeting was opened by the Director-General of UNESCO and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, followed by Dr Amina J. Mohammed, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, who gave the inaugural keynote intervention, updating and providing a general tour d'horizon of the main issues relative to the current sustainable development agenda process and then set out the challenges and opportunities remaining for the rest of this year.
In his closing speech, the President Hao Ping, congratulated all the participants for the rich debate, especially the guest speaker Dr. Amina Mohamed for her inspiring speech. He stressed that the pursuit for sustainable development and peace calls for approaches that put humans at the center. He underlined that our mission to build peace, prosperity and harmony in the world cannot be completed without efforts to help people living in poverty or in the margins of society. He acknowledged that progress has been made in the last 70 years, but much still remains to be done.
- Speech (PdF)
Members of the Executive Board and Representatives of the Permanent Delegations attended this meeting.
The President of the General Conference held meetings
On Wednesday 2 July 2014 with:
Visit to Amman, Jordan
16-18 June 2014
On the invitation of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Jordan, H. E. Prof. Amin A. Mahmoud, H. E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference and Vice-Minister of Education of China, paid a visit to Amman. The President had the opportunity to
discuss various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes, as well as the relationships between UNESCO, Jordan and China. Mr Hao Ping met as well the president of Jordan University and visited other institutes.
During a dinner hosted by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Jordan, Mr Hao Ping met Ms Farina Costanza, UNESCO representative in Jordan, and Mr Axel Plathe, UNESCO representative in Iraq. The President congratulated them for ensuring highest quality of technical inputs delivered with full accountability and their efficiency in carrying out UNESCO's mission through a coordinated action with other UN agencies in the country. He also brought to them the regards of the Director-General and the Chair of the Board.
The President made the journey from Amman to visit Petra, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. Petra is one of the world's richest and largest archaeological sites set in a dominating red sandstone landscape, and inscribed in the List of World heritage of UNESCO in 1985.
38th session of the World Heritage Committee - Doha, Qatar
15 June 2014
H.E. Mr HAO Ping, President of the General Conference and Vice-Minister of Education of China, attended the opening ceremony of the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee, hosted by Qatar in the capital, Doha, and chaired by H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.
In his speech, the President of the General Conference praised the World Heritage Committee for the achievements made in the last 38 years. He highlighted the new challenges faced in the protection of the natural and cultural heritage sites, the need to introduce more reforms and to increase the diversity of the membership of the Committee. Quoting from Confucius, he said: “When at thirty years old, we become truly independent; when at forty years old, we are no longer confused about what we are doing”, inviting the Committee to listen to different voices from Member States, to exchange experiences and best practices. He stressed the importance of education in guiding younger generations in the preservation of our common heritage, the integration of culture into the post 2015 agenda, and underlined the unique role played by the Convention in linking different civilizations.
- Speech (PdF)
During that opening ceremony, the Prime Minister of Qatar, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, announced a $10 million donation to a new fund to protect World Heritage sites affected by conflict or natural disaster.
During its ten-day meeting, the Committee added a total of 26 new sites the List to bring the number of World Heritage Sites to 1007, in 161 countries.
15th anniversary of the inscription of the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion - Saint-Emilion, France
13 June 2014
On the invitation of the Mayor of Saint-Emilion, Mr Bernard Lauret, H.E. Mr Hao Ping, attended the ceremony of the 15th anniversary of the inscription of the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion in the List of World heritage of UNESCO, and the traditional activities during the period of Jurade.
- Speech (PdF)
The ceremony was held at the City hall, during which the President of the General Conference inaugurated an international art exhibition on the theme “Wines, Art and Peace” and was enthroned as “Vigneron d’honneur”.
- Speech (PdF)
The Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion is an outstanding example of an historic vineyard landscape that has survived intact and in activity to the present day.
Beijing and Suzhou - China
3 – 6 June 2014
H.E. Mr HAO Ping, President of the General Conference and Vice-Minister of Education of China, welcomed Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO in Beijing and accompanied her in the following activities:
Meeting with Ms Peng Liyuan, First Lady of the People’s Republic of China and UNESCO Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Vice Premier of China, Ms Liu Yandong, the Minister of Education, Mr Yuan Guiren, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Bao-dong Li, were present as well.
International Conference on Engineering Sciences and Technology (ICEST) 2014 on the theme “Engineering and the Future of Humankind”, where the Director-General delivered a keynote address at the opening session in the presence of the President of China, XI Jinping and other dignitaries at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Launching of the Creative Economy Report by the Director-General. The event took place at the Dadu Museum of Art in Beijing, in the presence of the Chair of the UNESCO Executive Board, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Amr and a number of Permanent Delegates to UNESCO, as well as the Director of the Dadu Museum of Art, Jin Shangyi, Ms Yan Aoshuang, Director of the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, and the Secretary-General of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Mr Gao Xiang,
Signature and launching of the International Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology (IKCEST), a new Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO, and led by the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Lecture at Tsinghua University on “Leadership, Soft Power and Values for a Better Future for All”, followed by a meeting with the President of the University, Chen Jining.
Renewal of the agreement between UNESCO and the Xinhua News Agency, for joint and concerted cooperation to carry out common projects contributing to the promotion and dissemination of information about UNESCO’s priorities and activities.
In Suzhou, on 5 June 2014, the President HAO Ping, attended the International Conference on “Enhancing Language Ability and Education for the 21st Century”, along with the Director-General, H. E. Ms Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Minister of Education, Mr Yuan Guiren, Mr Li Xueyong, Governor of Jiangsu Province, as well as the Chair of the UNESCO Executive Board, HE Mr Mohamed Amr. Organized by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China in partnership with UNESCO, the Conference brought together ministers of education, linguists, educators and international development partners from some 93 countries across the world -- with the goal to reflect on challenges and new options for effective language ability and language education.
In his concluding remarks, President Hao Ping recalled the importance of looking into the future with a view to improve language ability by fostering mutual respect in reciprocity learning and knowledge exchanges, putting greater emphasize on language education, and strengthening studies on the fundamental theories of language. He highlighted the exceptional role of language abilities in promoting socio-economic development within an established national policy. He also stressed the importance of information technology in fostering language education, language dissemination and language abilities for mutual understanding, and appealed to the international community to join hands for the advancement of global language ability and the sustainable development of humanity.
In the margins of the conference, President Hao Ping witnessed the signature of two agreements -- between UNESCO and the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government on support to activities for higher education; and between UNESCO and the Wei Dong Group on harnessing ICTs for inclusive, quality education.
The Conference was held in the historic city of Suzhou, known as the 'Venice of the East,' which its stunning gardens are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
World Forum of Young Scientists - Baku, Azerbaijan
28-29 May 2014
By invitation of the Government of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr Hao Ping, President of UNESCO’s General Conference, attended the World Forum of Young Scientists held in Baku from 26 to 31 May 2014.
The topic of Baku World Science Forum was “New Challenges in the World Science: Joint Approaches of Young Scientists”. The purpose of the Forum is to bring together young scientists and researchers interested in the constant search of the proper reply to the new challenges, adequate and professional dialogue as well as new experience and new ideas.
The President delivered a speech at the closing ceremony and quoting the Azeri poet and philosopher Nizami Ganjavi, he encouraged young people not to be without hope, but to dare innovate, to curb the challenges for sustainable development. He stressed that the responsibility bestowed today upon younger generation to explore new avenues that must lead us to a shared vision of peace and the common welfare of humankind, cannot be taken lightly. He concluded by stating that young scientists have a special role in the Post-2015 development agenda, which will depend essentially on knowledge in its forms, on the production, acquisition and use of knowledge. It is not because something is new that it cannot be tried.
- Speech (PdF)
The President had the opportunity to meet with:
H.E. Mr.Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Education
H.E. Mr.Abulfaz Garayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism
H.E. Mr.Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sport
Mr. Akif Alizade, President of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
The visit also served as an occasion to visit Icheri Sheher, the Old City, UNESCO World Heritage and the Gala Archeological and Ethnographic Museum of Baku.
Award ceremony of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities - Kuwait City
26 May 2014
By invitation of the Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Kuwait to UNESCO, H.E. Dr Ali Al Tarrah, the President of UNESCO’s General Conference attended the award ceremony of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. The Prize, established in 2002 and funded by the State of Kuwait, is awarded on a biannual basis to two individuals, organizations, or centers that have contributed to the promotion of inclusive quality education for persons with intellectual disabilities.
The 2014 two winners, recommended by an international jury, were:
- The Armenian NGO Bridge of Hope, for its programme entitled ‘Towards Education for All: Inclusive Education’
- The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of the Canadian Provincial Government of New Brunswick, for its long-standing commitment to a systemic approach to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
H.E. Hao Ping presented the Prize to Susanna, the Armenian winner of the Prize. She expressed gratitude to the State of Kuwait for the support to this segment of people and their integration in their respective societies. She highlighted the importance of ensuring equal rights for the persons with special needs and gender equality across the globe.
The President Hao Ping had the opportunity to meet with H.E. Dr. Nayf Al-Hajraf, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education of Kuwait. They discussed various issues related to UNESCO's mandate and programmes, and the prospects of a continuous cooperation with the Organization in the future.
United Nations General Assembly Special Thematic Debate - New York
5 May 2014
H.E. Hao Ping, President of UNESCO’s General Conference, attended the special thematic debate in New York on “Culture and sustainable development in the post 2015 development agenda”.
Mandated by the United Nations Resolution 68/223, ministers and senior policymakers from around the world joined UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, and H.E. Khaled Khiari, Acting President of the United Nations General Assembly underscored through country level testimonies and global data how culture, in its manifold expressions ranging from cultural heritage to creative industries, from sustainable tourism to cultural infrastructure, drives and enables the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development.
The President of UNESCO’s General Conference underlined the importance of culture as a resource to tackle the multiple challenges societies around the world are facing and the foundation for building a more harmonious and sustainable future. He observed that the ways in which people learn, acquire and transmit knowledge are closely linked to their geographical, historical and linguistic backgrounds; and that educational curricula that take the local context into account are most likely to be effective in providing quality education and cohesive societies.
- Speech (Pdf)
Agreement with China’s Hisense Co. Ltd to Renew UNESCO’s Equipment - UNESCO Headquarters
2 May 2014
H.E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of China, attended a signing ceremony of agreement between UNESCO and Hisense Co. Ltd, China’s largest electronics manufacturer.
Hisense Co. Ltd made a financial contribution of €80,000 for the restoration of UNESCO’s electronic facilities at Headquarters and provided with some electronic devices.
The ceremony was attended by Mr Li Qun, Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee of Qingdao City, where the company is based, Mr Liu Hao, Executive Vice President of Hisense Co, and Mr You Shaozhong, Ambassador and Chinese Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.
Expressing gratitude for the generous donation, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Bokova, awarded the Confucius Medal to Mr Li Qun and referred to the strength and importance of UNESCO’s cooperation with China.
The President of the General Conference held meetings
On Tuesday 8 April
- H. E. Dr David Doyle, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of St. Kitts and Nevis to UNESCO
On Wednesday 9 April
- Rev. Dr. Rudolph Anthony, Secretary-General of the National Commission of Belize for UNESCO
- H. E. Mr Ahmed Sayyad, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Yemen to UNESCO and President of the Group 77 + China
- H. E. Mr Jean-Marie Adoua, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Congo to UNESCO
- H. E. Mr Ket Sophann, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Cambodia to UNESCO
On Monday 14 April
- H. E. Mrs Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Russian Federation to UNESCO
International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda
7 April 2014
On 7 April evening, the President of the General Conference attended the commemoration ceremony of the International Day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, which was opened by the Director-General and the Ambassador of Rwanda to France and UNESCO. The purpose of the day is to ensure that the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994 is better known, and to honour the memory of the victims and pay tribute to the survivors, a raising awareness among younger generations about this genocide and promoting the values of a culture of peace.
194th Session of the Executive Board
2 to 15 April 2014
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 9 April 2014, during the 4th plenary meeting of the 194th session of the Board, H.E. Mr Hao Ping congratulated the Chairperson of the Executive Board and the Director-General for their coordination and mutual understanding in the implementation of UNESCO’s programmes. He reminded the audience that 2015 will celebrate the 70th anniversary of UNESCO quoting Confucius “at 70 years old, you become precious with your experience gained during your whole life”. He expressed his satisfaction in regard to the establishment of a taskforce for its preparation, and invited all the Member States to join their efforts to make it a grand celebration and a precious moment of solidarity, in a spirit of diversity and openness. He concluded by quoting the two Chinese proverbs “If people are of one heart, even the yellow earth can become gold” and “only the joint efforts of all can remove the Mont Tai”.
- Speech (Pdf)
Visit of the Head of State of China
27 March 2014
On 27 March 2014, the President of the People’s Republic of China, H. E. Mr XI Jinping, and the First Lady Peng Liyuan, paid a historic visit to UNESCO. Mr XI Jinping is the first ever Chinese Head of State to visit UNESCO. The President of the General Conference, together with the Director-General and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, welcomed them to UNESCO. After a bilateral meeting, President Xi Jinping delivered a lecture in front of representatives from UNESCO’s Member States, members of the diplomatic corps in France, business leaders and other distinguished personalities. President Xi Jinping called for respect and protection of cultural diversity, and stressed the importance of maintaining and reinforcing exchange and dialogue between cultures.
On the same day, the President of the General Conference attended the designation ceremony of the First Lady PENG Liyuan as UNESCO Special Envoy for the advancement of girls’ and women’s education.
Working meeting with the Chairs of UNESCO Electoral Groups
26 March 2014
The President of the General Conference called a meeting on 26 March 2014 with the heads of the six electoral groups of UNESCO (Sweden, Lithuania, Argentina, Philippines, Benin, Bahrain), to facilitate sharing thoughts and ideas and to hear the views from the electoral groups before the 194th Session of the Executive Board. He informed them of the outcome of the last meeting of the heads of the 3 organs and invited them to share with him any matter that they may wish to be raised during the next meeting. The President reassured the Chairs of each electoral group of his readiness to listen at any time any of their suggestions related to UNESCO’s political role as a platform for multilateral diplomacy, clear information about the work of UNESCO in its spheres of competence, focusing on results with a view to consolidate the common efforts to guide the Organization through its mandate.
Visit to the Holy See (Italy)
21-22 March 2014
The President of the General Conference, H.E. Mr Hao Ping, led a delegation to visit the Vatican on 21 and 22 March 2014. Thanks to the good offices of Monsignor Francesco Follo, Permanent Observer of Holy See to UNESCO, the President met with H. E Monsignor Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, representing His Eminence Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation, who was on mission abroad.
The main highlight of this visit was the audience with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of His Holiness. They had rich exchanges on their approaches in the field of poverty eradication, literacy, quality and access to education for all, special emphasis was given to intercultural and inter-religious dialogue in order to avoid too many conflicts around the world and improve peace and mutual comprehension.
16th Annual L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science 2014
19 March 2014
H. E. Mr HAO Ping attended, on the evening of 19 March 2014, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards c eremony, held at the Sorbonne University in Paris (France). The ceremony was presided by Professor Günter Blobel, 1999 Nobel Prize for Medicine, in the presence of the Director-General of UNESCO, and of Mr Jean-Paul Agon, Chair and CEO of L’Oréal and Chair of the L’Oréal Foundation.
Each year, five outstanding women scientists – one per continent – are honoured for the contributions of their research, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society. The five laureates of the 2014 edition L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards are:
- Europe: Professor Brigitte Kieffer– Neurobiology (Strasbourg/France)
- North America: Professor Laurie Glimcher – Immunology and Medicine (New York/USA)
- Latin America: Professor Cecilia Bouzat – Biophysics (Buenos Aires/Argentina)
- Asia / Pacific: Professor Kayo Inaba – Immunology & Medicine (Kyoto/Japan)
- Africa and the Arab States: Doctor Segenet Kelemu – Biology & Plant Pathology (Nairobi/Kenya)
International Day for Nowruz
19 March 2014
The President of the General Conference attended the celebration of Nowruz, inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples. It is a reminder of the values and aspirations that bind us all together, in mutual understanding, solidarity and peace.
Second Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
15-17 March 2014
H.E. Mr HAO Ping, President of the General Conference, attended the Second Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from 15 to 17 March 2014. This event, under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President & Prime Minister for the UAE, was organized in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative and hosted jointly by UNESCO, GEMS Education, the Varkey GEMS Foundation and Dubai Cares.
Nowadays, unemployment is at an all-time high across much of the globe and funding for education is being cut where it is most sorely needed – both issues that disproportionally affect the young and disadvantaged. The Forum gave special emphasis to the role of public-private partnerships in strengthening the nexus between education, equity and employment. The aim was to inspire new ideas and partnerships that unleash the power of education to transform global society positively and to facilitate the first steps in this essential process.
Attendance in Executive Board’s Information Meeting
H. E. Mr. Hao Ping, President of the General Conference, attended the Executive Board’s Information Meeting with the Director-General, held on Wednesday 12 February 2014. In his intervention, he congratulated the Director-General for her very good and concise reports, as well as the Chairperson and Executive Board members for their fruitful work and commitment. He concluded by quoting the Chinese philosopher Lao Zi: “The more we help others, the more we benefit ourselves”.
Meeting between the Heads of UNESCO’s three organs
Following the decision to launch regular coordination meetings between the Heads of UNESCO’s three organs (189 EX/Decision 11.8), the Director-General, Irina Bokova, the President of the General Conference, Vice-Minister Hao Ping and the Chairperson of the Executive Board, Ambassador Mohammed Amr, met for the first time on 13 February 2014.
They reviewed issues of common interest and the overall situation of the Organization. This meeting allowed for a fruitful exchange on relations with Member States, the planification of information meetings with Permanent Delegations on strategic priority themes, the calendar of important UNESCO events and activities in the coming months, and the visibility of the Organization’s work at the field level.
Concerning the need to enhance the visibility of UNESCO's field operational activities, it was agreed that field directors would be invited periodically to make presentations during sessions of the governing bodies or information meetings.
The Heads of the Governing Bodies and the Director-General agreed on the need to pursue these useful consultations at regular intervals in order to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the Organization.
Donation of Hainan Airlines Company Limited
On Thursday, 13 February 2014, as a result of the President’s efforts to mobilize extra-budgetary funding, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, the Board Chairman of China’s HNA Group Co. Ltd (Hainan Airlines Company Limited), Mr. Chen Feng; and the Board Chairman of the Hainan Cihang Foundation, Mr Zeng Haorong, signed a five year framework agreement to fund girls’ and women’s education, which will be placed under UNESCO’s Global partnership for girls’ and women’s education: “Better Life, Better Future”.
The President of the General Conference held meetings
On Thursday 13 February 2014 with:
- H.E. Mr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former UN Secretary-General (1992-1996);
- Mrs. Nerissa Cook, Deputy Assistant-Secretary of State for International Organizations Affairs of the United States of America;
- H.E. Mr Mohammad RézaMajidi, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Islamic Republic of Iran to UNESCO;
- H.E. Ms Lamia Chakkour, Ambassador & Permanent Delegate of the Syrian Arab Republic to UNESCO;
- H.E. MrKarunaratneHangawatte, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO;
- H.E. Mr David Hamadziripi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Zimbabwe to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO;
- Mr Jean Audouze, President of the French National Commission for UNESCO.
On Friday 14 February 2014 with:
- Msgr. Francesco Follo, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to UNESCO;