07.06.2010 - ODG

The Director-General concludes visit to London and Oxford

Photo above: UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Professor William John Morgan, Chair of the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and Professor Alec Boksenberg, his predecessor (middle) in front of the plaque commemorating the signature of the UNESCO Constitution in the Great Hall of the Institute of Civil Engineers, London on 16 November 1945. Photo Below: Ms Ellen Wilkinson, UK Minister of Education and Chairperson of UNESCO's first General Conference, proclaims the Preamble to the New UNESCO Constitution in London, November 1945

© UNESCOMs Ellen Wilkinson, UK Minister of Education and Chairperson of UNESCO's first General Conference, proclaims the Preamble to the New UNESCO Constitution in London, November 1945

On Friday, 4 June 2010, the Director-General visited the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, a recognized Independent Centre of the University of Oxford, where she delivered a lecture on ‘UNESCO, the World of Islam and the Rapprochement of Cultures’. Meeting the Centre's Director, Dr Farhan Nizami CBE, the two agreed to deepen the Centre’s collaboration with UNESCO.

Back in London on Saturday, 5 June, the Director-General attended the Regional Consultations with National Commissions for UNESCO of Europe and North America, on the Organization’s draft Programme and Budget for 2012-2013. Addressing the delegates, Irina Bokova recalled that the host country had not only been a founding member of UNESCO but had also given the Organization its first Director-General. She cited the words of Ellen Wilkinson, the British Minister of Education in 1945 who had said “it is for us to clear the channels through which may flow from nation to nation, the streams of knowledge and thought, of truth and beauty, which are the foundations of true civilization”. Highlighting that this remained just as relevant today, 65 years later, the Director-General thanked the National Commissions for their commitment to promoting UNESCO's ideals in Member States.

On Sunday, 6 June, Irina Bokova joined the National Commissions in the Great Hall of the Institute of Civil Engineers, where UNESCO's constitution had been adopted in 1945.  She underscored the unique role of the National Commissions for UNESCO within the United Nations system.




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