Director-General pays tribute to Turkmenistan`s greatest poet
On 15 May, the first day of her official visit to Turkmenistan, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the President of Turkmenistan, His Excellency Mr Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, inaugurated the International Conference dedicated to the 290th anniversary of Magtymguly Pyragy, a renowned poet and thinker of Turkmenistan.
"The life of Magtymguly Pyragy was characterised by a constant search for knowledge. He believed in art as a bridge to reach others, a key to unlock the mysteries of life and to share the experience of all humanity. Today, I believe these humanist values have never been so vital, and this is importance of the legacy of Magtymguly Pyragy”, said the Director-General.
The Director-General highlighted that the ideals of Magtymguly Pyragy resonate with the mandate of UNESCO. She underscored the importance of dialogue among cultures - this is the goal of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures that UNESCO is leading.
President Berdymukhammedov paid a special tribute to the Director-General for her contribution to the promotion of Maghtymguly`s legacy and to her commitment to advance international cooperation. As a token of this recognition, he decorated the Director-General with the Magtymguly Pyragy State medal.
Following the opening ceremony, the Director-General held a bilateral meeting with the President. She commended the Turkmen authorities for their efforts to reform the education system and to safeguard their rich cultural heritage. She also expressed her appreciation for the country’s support to UNESCO and its reform policy as a member of UNESCO`s Executive Board.
The Director-General thanked the President for placing education, the sciences, and cultural heritage at the centre of the national development agenda.
President Berdymukhammedov thanked the Director-General for her contribution to strengthening the cooperation between UNESCO and Turkmenistan and reiterated his country`s interest in UNESCO`s activities notably in the Silk Roads project.
The President underscored that over the past two decades, Turkmenistan has attached much importance to its cooperation with UNESCO in all its fields of competence.
On the same day, the Director-General met with Mr Raşit Meredow, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan with whom she discussed a range of issues in the fields of competence of UNESCO.
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