Irina Bokova strengthens UNESCO’s role at the Third Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations
Throughout the Third Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 27 to 29 May 2010, the Director-General advocated the Organization’s views and actions with regards to the Forum’s theme “Bridging Cultures, Building Peace”, portraying UNESCO’s leadership in the United Nations’ International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.
At the opening ceremony on Friday, 28 May, Irina Bokova highlighted UNESCO's actions over the past 65 years to uphold cultural diversity, promote tolerance and build a culture of peace through international cooperation. She underscored in particular the central role of education, and the need to involve new actors, especially young people, women and indigenous peoples.
The Routes of Dialogue Projects; the General Histories of Africa; Central Asia; Latin America; the Different Aspects of Islamic Culture; the International Coalition of Cities against Racism; and most recently the World Report, 'Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue’ were among the UNESCO projects mentioned.
The Director-General also addressed the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations, where she spoke of the need to work in close cooperation with UN Country Teams and the intrinsic links between culture and development.
Irina Bokova held bilateral meetings with Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos of Spain, where the focus was on culture and development, and the Brazilian Minister for External Relations, Celso Amorim, with whom she signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on South-South Cooperation between UNESCO and Brazil.
On Saturday, 29 May, the Director-General signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary-General's High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations delineating a focused and complementary collaboration between UNESCO and the Alliance for the next 2 years.
Irina Bokova then led the UNESCO organized plenary on Education for Intercultural Citizenship, where she emphasized the goals of this International Year, which are to promote greater mutual understanding and a culture of peace.
On Monday, 31 May, the Director-General participated at the launch of the “1 Goal” campaign for Latin America and the Caribbean at Maracanã stadium in Rio. After commenting on the urgent need to reach the Education for All goals, she signed a football that is going to Johannesburg, South Africa, on the occasion of the upcoming World Cup.