16.11.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova meets Kenyan authorities and opens 5th Session of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee

© UNESCO/James Muriuki - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova with William Ole Ntimama, Minister for National Heritage and Culture of Kenya (on the left) and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of Kenya (on the right), during her official visit to the country on 15 November 2010

On the first day of her official visit to Kenya, 15 November 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova opened the Fifth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The ceremony included also Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of Kenya, William Ole Ntimama, Minister for National Heritage and Culture, Professor Samson Kegeo Ongeri, Minister of Education and President of the Kenyan National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Jacob Ole Marion, Chairperson of the Fifth session of the UNESCO Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC), and Professor Toshiyuki Kono, Chairperson of the General Assembly of States Parties to the 2003 Convention.

After the opening ceremony, Irina Bokova held talks with the Vice President of the Republic of Kenya, the Minister for National Heritage and Culture and the Assistant Minister for National Heritage and Culture Wilfred O. Ombui, during which she praised Kenya's commitment to safeguarding its intangible and tangible heritage. She also highlighted the crucial link that exists between culture and development. She regretted the absence of any African candidate for inscription on the lists established under the 2003 Convention and pledged to redouble efforts towards building capacities to tackle this challenge.

Later in the day, the Director-General inaugurated an exhibition of photographs of Kenya’s rich intangible cultural heritage, along with Ambassador Kiso, Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO.

The Director-General also held meetings with the staff of the UNESCO office in Nairobi, members of the UN Country Teams for Kenya and Somalia, as well as with the Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner.


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