12.11.2010 - ODG

Director-General underscores the importance of cooperation with Lebanon

© UNESCO/Firas Al-Khateeb - Irina Bokova and the President of the Lebanese Council of Ministers Saad Hariri

© UNESCO/Firas Al-Khateeb - Irina Bokova meeting with the President of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri

On the first day of her official visit to Lebanon, the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova held bilateral meetings with the Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, the President of Parliament Nabih Berri, and the President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri. She also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Information.

On welcoming Irina Bokova, the President of the Republic expressed his conviction that cooperation with UNESCO should be enhanced, especially with regard to implementing projects for the reconstruction of Lebanon. The Director-General reaffirmed UNESCO’s commitment to support the country in pursuing the fund raising aspect of this important project.

Irina Bokova highlighted the importance of the activities undertaken by the UNESCO Office in Beirut, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011. As one of the first UNESCO regional offices in the world, the Beirut Office has worked with the Arab States over the past five decades to improve the quality of education and access to it for all.

In her talks with Lebanese officials, the Director-General underlined the importance for Lebanon of its ratification of the Convention on the Promotion and Protection of Cultural Expressions and the agreement regarding the International Centre for Human Sciences (ICHS) in Byblos for fostering inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. “Fostering such a dialogue is all the more important in a country of such cultural diversity as Lebanon,” she said.

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