09.10.2017 - ODG

Director-General on official visit to Côte d’Ivoire


During her official visit to Côte d’Ivoire on 7 October 2017, UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, held discussions with the President of Сôte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Mr Alassane Ouattara, and took part in the International Literacy Day celebrations in Abidjan.

The Director-General and the President of Côte d’Ivoire, his Excellency Mr Alassane Ouattara, were united in hailing the close cooperation enjoyed, with the support of the UNESCO National Office in Abidjan, by UNESCO and Côte d’Ivoire, particularly in the areas of education and peace. The Director-General commended the President’s leadership, congratulating him on the strength of the Ivorian economy and the good results achieved under his presidency in the various areas of development. She also commended the commitment of the First Lady, Ms Dominique Ouattara, and her foundation’s work on peace and the empowerment of women.

The President of Côte d’Ivoire commended UNESCO’s support for the social and economic recovery of Côte d’Ivoire and the Organization’s determination to build lasting peace. He believed that the planned creation of a high-level training and research centre for education for peace within the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace in Yamoussoukro would contribute very significantly to that ambition.

Following an invitation from Ms Kandia Camara, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of National Education, the Director-General also took part in the International Literacy Day celebrations. The Vice-President of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Daniel Kablan Duncan, and many other ministry officials were present at this important event.

Speaking at the literacy day celebration, which was attended by 4,000 people, the Director-General recalled the major achievements that have marked cooperation between UNESCO and Côte d’Ivoire, and stressed that literacy was both a fundamental right and a source of dignity and empowerment. The Director-General applauded the Ivorian authorities’ commitment to promoting functional literacy, particularly among women. She stressed the importance of literacy in the fight against poverty and as a tool for women’s empowerment and fulfilment. The Director-General reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to supporting the Ministry of Education in the fight against illiteracy in Côte d’Ivoire.

During her visit, the Сôte d’Ivoire Grand Chancellor awarded Ms Bokova the title of Grand Officer of the National Order of Côte d’Ivoire, the nation’s highest honorary distinction. 

The Director-General also met Mr M’Baye Babacar Cissé, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire. They both took the opportunity to stress the importance of UNESCO’s role in the field of education Côte d’Ivoire, and in ensuring the coordinated support of United Nations agencies to the government in order to promote peace and social cohesion.

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