» World Jewish Congress honours Director-General of UNESCO
18.09.2017 - ODG

World Jewish Congress honours Director-General of UNESCO

© UNESCO/Joel Sheakoski

On 17 September 2017, the President of the World Jewish Congress, Ambassador Ronald Lauder, hosted a special event in honour of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, in New York, on the margins of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

"I want to thank you for your courage, despite difficult times," said Ambassador Lauder. ‎He underlined her champion work for education: "with the right education, we can conquer everything, and this is thanks to your dedication and commitment."

The Director-General thanked Ambassador Lauder for his support to UNESCO.

“Over the past years, we have built a special relationship between the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO, and this would not have been possible without your trust and respect for the work of UNESCO,” declared the Director-General, expressing her gratitude to the World Jewish Congress.

The Director-General underscored UNESCO’s unique role within the United Nations, notably in leading the fight against anti-Semitism: “The fight against anti-Semitism today must be founded on an intellectual effort to understand the roots of hatred and to defuse the discourses that exploit ignorance,” she said, recalling UNESCO’s dedicated global programme to teach the history of the Holocaust as a force against anti-Semitism today.

“I am convinced that education, culture and knowledge have become key security issues at a time when violent extremism is spreading, fuelled by distortions of faith and history, and perverted narratives about cultures,” said Irina Bokova. 

“This is not an easy task, but there is really no other way, and we need the support of all our partners … with B'Nai Brith … the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee... with our UNESCO Special Envoys and the support from the World Jewish Congress, I am convinced we can move mountains, and so we will.”

World Jewish Congress website


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