UNESCO Director-General pays tribute to Vaclav Havel, writer and statesman, and sends her sincere condolences to the government and people of the Czech Republic
“Vaclav Havel embodied the power of culture to enlighten and liberate people. A playwright and the symbol of the Prague Spring, he is a role model for all those who are aspiring to democracy across the world today. An ardent defender of the European family and a wise man among the wise, he fought his entire life for unity and reconciliation in South East Europe. We have so much to learn from his journey,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.
Vaclav Havel passed away on Sunday 18 December 2011 at the age of 75. A playwright banned from publication in his own country for 20 years, he was one of the dominant figures of Charter 77 and the Velvet Revolution. As president of Czechoslovakia and then of the Czech Republic, from 1989 to 2003, he wrote: “The human race now knows that its only salvation lies in a new type of global responsibility. It just lacks one small detail: to genuinely assume this responsibility.”