UNESCO Director-General calls to deepen cooperation with Kyrgyzstan
During her visit to the Kyrgyz Republic, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met with Asylbek Jeenbekov, Speaker of the Parliament. The Director-General affirmed UNESCO’s readiness to cooperate with national authorities in the fields of education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information. She emphasized the importance of joint cooperation in domains such as the promotion of peace education, the safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, capacity-building in water management, and respect for freedom of expression. Mr Jeenbekov informed the Director-General of the concrete results achieved in Kyrgyzstan in the areas of UNESCO’s mandate and underscored Kyrgyzstan’s deep appreciation for the Organization’s support and assistance.
While in Bishkek, the Director-General also met with Ms Roza Otunbaeva, former President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Their discussion focused on the role of culture and cultural industries for national development. The Director-General commended the numerous activities undertaken by the Foundation “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative”, notably in early-childhood education, social cohesion and cultural heritage. She urged for the protection of heritage sites, and the development of sustainable and responsible tourism.
Ms Otunbayeva informed the Director-General of the various activities of the Foundation, which was founded in January 2012 to contribute to the country’s social, political and economic development. Speaking about the ongoing cooperation between UNESCO and the Foundation, she expressed interest in furthering this partnership, particularly in the fields of education as well as tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
Together, the Director-General and Ms Otunbayeva visited the exhibition of the handicraft products, which received the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts in Central Asia, and attended a concert of the Manas tellers.
During her stay in Kyrgyzstan, the Director-General met with members of the United Nations Country Team. She highlighted the importance of Culture as a key to sustainable development, while presenting UNCT members the major areas of UNESCO’s contribution to the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.
During her stay in Kyrgyzstan, the Director-General also visited the Issyk-Kul, a UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve since 2001.
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