07.09.2011 - ODG

Irina Bokova calls for cultural literacy at the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum

© UNESCO/Dov Lynch - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visiting the historical centre of the millenary city of Yaroslavl, Russia, inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. 7 September 2011.

On 7 September 2011, Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, took part in the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum.

The Yaroslavl Forum brings together renowned public figures from across the world, including former Heads of States, Ministers, Nobel Prize laureates and scholars, to explore the theme of “the contemporary state in an age of social diversity.”

The Director-General spoke at the 1st Session of the Forum on 7 September on the subject of “Cultural Diversity: Building Bridges to lasting Peace”. The session was moderated by Alison Smale from the International Herald Tribune and Vyacheslav Nikonov from Moscow State University. The discussion also included Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, Former President of Indonesia, Immanuel Wallerstein, Professor at Yale University, Valery Zorkin, Chairman of Russian Constitutional Court, and other speakers from the United Kingdom, France, Korea, Israel, Egypt along with renowned experts and public figures from Russia. Discussants explored the reality of multiculturalism today and its implications for public policy.

Irina Bokova made a powerful appeal for more cultural literacy today, saying “it is no longer enough to tolerate, we must live together and create new common ground around shared values.”

On the same day, the Director-General had the opportunity to visit the historical centre of the millenary city of Yaroslavl, inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. She also gave an interview with ‘Russia Today’ television broadcaster where she spoke about the issue of cultural heritage in conflict situations as well as illicit traffic of cultural goods.

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