09.05.2012 - ODG

Director-General Receives Top Honours from the University of Dhaka

©UNESCO/Cynthia Guttman - The Director General is congratulated by the President of Bangladesh and University of Dhaka Chancellor (left) and the Vice Chancellor (center) upon receiving an honoris causa degree.

In the presence of President Zillur Rahman of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, UNESCO Director-General received an honoris causa degree from the University of Dhaka, the country’s most prestigious higher learning institution, on 9 May 2012.

Reading the citation before an audience of faculty in convocation robes, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Arefin Saddique stated that Ms Bokova “has distinguished herself as a promoter of peace, justice and human rights, and has been at the forefront of European integration. She has been an inspiration to young people everywhere for her outstanding leadership qualities, both within the government of her own country, Bulgaria, and in the United Nations. She is a firm believer in multiculturalism, diversity and human dignity. The University of Dhaka recognizes Ms Irina Bokova as an outstanding leader of humanity and a friend to cultures around the world.”

Accepting the distinction as a trust and honour for UNESCO, the Director stressed the importance of a new paradigm of development “where every woman and man feels engaged and responsible towards others and the safeguarding of our planet, one that is rooted in a profound respect for human dignity, fundamental rights and the diversity of cultures.”

President Rahman, who is also Chancellor of the University founded in 1921, referred to the institution’s pioneering role in shaping Bangalee nationhood, achieving the rights of our mother tongue, participating in our war of liberation and all democratic movements.” Both the President and the Vice Chancellor recognized UNESCO’s “pivotal role”  in promoting education, culture, communication and the sciences, expressing gratitude for its role in declaring 21 February International  Mother Language Day.

The ceremony, held in the University’s plush semi-circled Senate Hall, opened with prayers from the Muslim, Hindi, Christian and Buddhist faiths, and traditional Bangalee dance and music.

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