Visit of the Director-General to South Sudan in Pictures
From 23 to 24 June 2014, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, visited South Sudan with UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and UNESCO Special Envoy, Forest Whitaker, Founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.
Copyright for all images: UNESCO
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary- General for Children and Armed Conflict, Forest Whitaker UNESCO Special Envoy spoke with one voice about the importance of education, reconciliation and peace building as well as the protection of children affected by armed conflict.
Tunes of bells and drums welcome the Director-General of UNESCO to South Sudan. Received by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, UNESCO regional Director, UNESCO representative to South Sudan and Staff of UNESCO Juba Office.
The Director-General and Ambassador Charles Manyang, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs signed the Seat Agreement officially establishing the UNESCO Office in the Republic of South Sudan. The UNESCO Juba Office was established as an Antenna Office in 2005 and has been fully operational as a National Office since 2011.
“Sustainable peace can only come about if the children and youth of South Sudan are respected and have an opportunity to develop” was shared by Irina Bokova at her meeting with the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Meeting with Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul and Hon. Peter Gwang, co-chairs of the Peace and Reconciliation Platform as well as with representatives of civil society. Together they discussed how peace and reconciliation can become a reality for South Sudan.
“Knowledge is the strongest safeguard against violence, against conflict,” was the message of Irina Bokova when she visited the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. UNESCO’s Skills for Life teaching materials are used in the make-shift class rooms of the site.
In an interaction with the youth of the PoC community, the Director-General reiterated the crucial role of education in the peace building process. The community center of the site was filled with youth that actively participated in the discussion.
Director-General attends the graduation ceremony of 200 Adult Literacy trainers in Yei, Central Equatoria State. “Teachers are the key to quality education –- each of you is essential” she said to the graduates.
With Forest Whitaker and school children from Yei. “Literacy is the building block for a more just and peaceful society – where girls and young women have the capacities to shape their lives as they wish, to speak out and be heard”.
In a joint press conference at UNESCO Juba Office, the Director-General, the UNSRG-CAAC and Forest Whitaker briefed the local and international press on the outcome of their visit.