» Director-General meets the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
15.02.2017 - ODG

Director-General meets the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

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On 15 February, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met with the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in Cairo, Egypt.

The Director-General highlighted UNESCO’s presence in Egypt since its establishment in 1947. She recalled that UNESCO’s privileged relation with Egypt was shaped by historical landmark programmes such as the Nubia Campaign that, since the 1960s, has associated UNESCO’s name closely with Egypt and helped position the Organization as the world leading agency in culture and heritage. The success of the Nubia Campaign, initiated in 1959 to save the 3000-year-old monuments and temples of ancient Nubia, inspired the development and adoption in 1972 of UNESCO's World Heritage Convention, as well as the inscription of sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Irina Bokova congratulated the President for the reopening of the Museum of Islamic Art on 18 January 2017, and expressed her gratitude for the symbolic gesture of unveiling the inaugural curtain alongside UNESCO. The Museum, considered one of the greatest in the world, was closed for comprehensive rehabilitation after a terrorist attack in 2014 which caused considerable damage. UNESCO provided necessary technical assistance and financial support for the reconstruction and restoration of the Museum.

President Al-Sisi thanked UNESCO for the immense contribution that it has provided to the rehabilitation of the Museum of Islamic Art. The President underlined the vital importance today of the shared values of tolerance and co-existence as "the foundations of a sustainable peace". In this regard, he highlighted the importance of demystifying the narrative on Islam in order to counter the false extremist theories aiming to divide people -- "You are not working alone," he told the Director-General.

In addition, the Director-General reiterated UNESCO’s strong commitment to cooperate with the Egyptian Government for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Egypt Vision 2030 agenda. 

At this occasion, the Director-General was honored to receive the Order of the Republic of the first Category highest Presidential, in recognition of her unerring support to Egypt and her commitment to protecting cultural heritage.  




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