15.12.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova calls for a new humanism at UNESCO’s 65th anniversary celebration

© UNESCO/Michel Ravassard - Irina Bokova with former Directors-General Amadou-Mathar M’Bow, Federico Mayor and Koïchiro Matsuura at the celebration of UNESCO’s 65th anniversary

On 14 December 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova was joined by her three predecessors Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow (1974 to 1987), Federico Mayor (1987 to 1999) and Koïchiro Matsuura (1999 to 2009) to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the adoption of UNESCO’s constitution, signed in London on 16 November 1945.

The ceremony held at UNESCO Headquarters gathered a large number of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, Special Envoys, and Artists for Peace, as well as members of the permanent delegations of UNESCO’s Member States.

Each one of the three former Directors-General delivered an enthusiastic address emphasizing the significant role UNESCO has played promoting international cooperation. For her part, Director-General Irina Bokova referred to the ceremony as a source of strength and an opportunity to come together and restate our commitment to the ambition of doing better and being stronger.

“My message today, in times of increasing globalization, of greater connectivity and also of rising uncertainty, with new economic, financial and social challenges, is the call for a new humanism,” stated Irina Bokova.

“New humanism points to what I see as the central question raised by globalization today: how can we manage diversity at a time when our societies and our cities are becoming more complex and more diverse in all aspects?” she continued.

And concluded: “In considering this question, my message is one of hope and of confidence. UNESCO provides key answers to the questions we face today – questions about how to prevent the fragmentation of humanity and how to build real foundations for development and peace. The world needs to believe in the power of peace. UNESCO – and all of us present – will and must continue to play this role to the full.”

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