UNESCO Director-General meets with Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
On 6 January, 2017, UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, met with the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen, at UNESCO Headquarters.
This meeting was an opportunity to discuss the longstanding cooperation between UNESCO and the OIC on such priority areas as the promotion of intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, education and prevention of violent extremism.
The Director-General welcomed the dynamic role played by the OIC and its specialized institutions, especially ISESCO, and their contribution to UNESCO’s programmes and priorities. She pointed out natural synergies between UNESCO and OIC, to work together on many issues, particularly on promoting intercultural dialogue to combat extremism on a wider scale.
The Director-General also mentioned the recent completion by UNESCO of its flagship 6-volume collection “The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture” and possible cooperation with OIC to enable greater awareness of the general public about this outstanding scientific and intellectual initiative. She emphasized that in a world marked by conflict, intolerance, and hatred – often fueled by misconceptions and ignorance – this important achievement of UNESCO could contribute to promoting greater knowledge about Islam across the world, and build new bridges of dialogue.
The Secretary-General of OIC welcomed UNESCO-OIC cooperation on promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue and emphasized the need to carry out more joint activities on the subject and redouble efforts to prevent youth radicalization through education.
Dr Al-Othaimeen also noted considerable opportunities for joint action in the field of science and technology.
Ms Bokova and Dr Al-Othaimeen pledged to build on the existing valuable partnership in the future, and expand the cooperation including through the updating of the current agreement between the two Organizations by adding new areas of cooperation.
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