21.09.2011 - ODG

UNESCO and La Francophonie stand together with countries in transition

© UNESCO/Lily Valtchanova - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at a meeting of the Francophonie Organization on the margins of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on 20 September 2011. Irina Bokova is seated next to the Ambassador of Switzerland to UNESCO, Mr Rodolphe S. Imhoof and the President of Switzerland, Ms Micheline Calmy-Rey.

On Tuesday, 20 September 2011, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova participated in the High level ministerial dialogue of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Kamel Amr and other high-level officials.

Under the chairmanship of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Micheline Calmy-Rey, the meeting focused on the current political transitions in the French-speaking countries and sought ways to promote democracy and human rights within the context of the changes arising from the Arab Spring.
In her speech, Irina Bokova highlighted the important role of OIF in fostering peace and democracy in the region of North Africa. She outlined the concrete cooperation between UNESCO and OIF in the field of building democracy and freedom of expression through education, science, culture and communication. She recalled also the challenges that some of the French speaking countries are experiencing today and elaborated on the need to design specific solutions for the establishment of democratic and inclusive societies.

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