09.03.2012 - ODG

Lessons learned: one year later after the earthquake and Tsunami

©UNESCO/Cynthia GuttmanUNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova with the students of the relocated Nakano elementary school, Sendai, Japan, 14 February 2012.

“The earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. It also struck at all societies across the world,” declared UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, during a ceremony to commemorate the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This ceremony, held on 5 March, followed the designating of Japanese tea master Sen Genshitsu as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

“I was struck by the courage and determination I saw everywhere during my visit (…) I saw this in children and university students, in parents and teachers, in local authorities and government officials,” she continued, referring to her official trip to Japan last February.

During this official visit, which took place on the eve of the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the Director-General conveyed a message of solidarity and highlighted the role of culture, education and scientific cooperation in the recovery process.

A charity concert for school children affected by the earthquake and tsunami, will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 11 March.  This anniversary concert is organized by La Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris, JAPONAIDE and the International Staff Association of UNESCO, under the patronage of the Embassy of Japan in France and the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO.

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