14.06.2012 - ODG

Irina Bokova begins her first official visit to Barbados

© UNESCO/Cheikh N'Diaye

On 13 June, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova started her first official visit to Barbados, which is also her first official visit to a Caribbean Member State. She was welcomed by Chairperson of the Executive Board Alissandra Cummins, Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Chief of Protocol and the UN Resident Coordinator.

Upon her arrival in Bridgetown, the Director-General attended the Inscription Ceremony for the Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison at St Ann’s Garrison, St Michael, which was presided by the Prime Minister, the Honourable Freundel Stuart. The Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, the Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Minister of Tourism, and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Lands were also in attendance.

The Director-General congratulated the Government and people of Barbados for their commitment to the World Heritage Convention. “The inscription of a site on the World Heritage List is an opportunity to celebrate heritage of outstanding universal value”, she said. It is also “an opportunity to join together, around the values of harmony and peace, dialogue and understanding”. While an outstanding example of British colonial architecture and town planning, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison also “bears witness to the countless traditions and exchanges between the free and the enslaved members of a diverse, multi-cultural community, which crafted the rich Creole culture of the Anglophone Caribbean”. “Historic Bridgetown is a place for memory and for learning” declared the Director-General.

At the end of the ceremony, the Director-General presented the World Heritage Inscription Certificate for Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison to the Prime Minister. This was followed by the inauguration of the official World Heritage plaque.

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