» Director-General addresses France’s National Assembly
10.02.2010 - ODG

Director-General addresses France’s National Assembly

© UNESCO/Michel RavassardIrina Bokova addressing France’s National Assembly at a joint session of the commission of Foreign Affairs and the commission of Cultural Affairs and Education.

On 10 February 2010, Irina Bokova addressed France’s National Assembly at a joint session of the commission of Foreign Affairs and the commission of Cultural Affairs and Education. The President of the Foreign Affairs commission, Deputy Axel Poniatowski chaired the session and introduced Ms Bokova as the commissions’ special guest.

The Director-General began by presenting UNESCO’s actions, role and “humanistic agenda,” in which development, access to education, respect for diversity, and gender equality are at the heart of its values and the focus of its mandate.  

Irina Bokova spoke of “giving new impetus to international solidarity” and highlighted UNESCO’s immediate reaction to the earthquake that devastated Haiti.  “Peace is not an idealized concept. Peace comes in pragmatic action. We gear towards peace by implementing concrete projects that provide solutions in the field. This realistic peace is built day after day,” she said.

Focusing on the themes related to the commissions, the Director-General argued that education, and particularly girls’ education, should be at the centre of the economic recovery and of all development policy. She stated that education “is the most powerful means to achieve poverty reduction.” 

Irina Bokova also emphasized the role of culture in development policy and underlined the importance of UNESCO’s vast work on this domain.  She referred to the upcoming launch of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures as a concrete action by the Organization regarding the protection of cultural diversity and promotion of dialogue.

In conclusion, the Director-General invited the two parliamentary commissions to visit UNESCO.




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