20.03.2016 - ODG

UNESCO Director-General at Brussels Forum of the US German Marshall Fund

From left to right: Carlo d'Asaro Biondo, President EMEA Strategic Partnerships, Google, Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, Commissioner Sarah Anthony, Wayne County, Michigan (United States), and Lawrence Jones, Vice-President of International Programs, Edison Electric Institute.

On 19 March, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova spoke out strongly to protect cultural heritage, when she addressed the participants to the Brussels Forum of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The Brussels Forum of the German Marshall Fund is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, private sector, and intellectual leaders, who come together to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic. Participants to the Forum include heads of state, senior officials from the European Union institutions, U.S. Congressional representatives, Parliamentarians, academics, and the media.

Under the overarching theme of this year’s Forum -- “A World Beyond Disorder” -- speakers identified opportunities to shape a new global agenda that can adapt to changing global realities and new threats.

In her speech to the Forum on Saturday,  Irina Bokova stated:

"We know ‘hard power’ will not be enough to counter a threat fueled by exclusive ideological visions. We must disarm the processes that lead to violent extremism. This resonates at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate, to “build peace in the minds of men and women”, harnessing the power of education, culture, communication".

Senior representatives from leading technological companies, such as Google, underscored for their part the growing role of new technologies to produce and share knowledge as committed civil society actors for the documentation and preservation of humanity's cultural heritage.‎

Among this year’s participants were the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg and European Commissioners Jyrki Katainen, Kristalina Georgieva and Cecilia Malmström.

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