23.11.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova strengthens cooperation with Italy in her first official visit to the country

© UNESCO/Matthieu Guevel - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova meeting with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, on 22 November 2010, during her first official visit to the country

On her first official visit to Italy, from 21 to 23 November 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova highlighted her ongoing efforts to reform the Organization and make it more directly relevant to Member States’ needs.

She undertook a rich series of meetings with the Italian authorities, in which culture and gender equality were the main subjects. 

In her fruitful encounter with Francesco Maria Giro, Italy’s Under-Secretary of State for Culture, their talks centered on the priorities of the World Heritage Convention. They both agreed on the necessity to uphold the integrity and scientific rigor of the process of inscription and to reinforce the monitoring of the inscribed sites. Irina Bokova reaffirmed UNESCO's commitment to assist Italy's actions in the field of heritage. The Director-General and Francesco Maria Giro also stressed the importance of strong action against illegal traffic of works of art.

Irina Bokova also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini. The two pledged support for the project of a UN resolution to ban genital mutilation in women, to be submitted to the UN General Assembly early in 2011. UNESCO's mandate on culture provides an opportunity to address this issue, as such acts of mutilation are often connected with traditions and cultural behaviors. They decided also to enhance UNESCO's strategic partnership with Italy and to foster cooperation in the Middle-East and in the Balkan regions.

Throughout her visit, the Director-General was accompanied by Professor Giovanni Puglisi, Chairman of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO.

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