Gender equality and cultural heritage top the agenda for meeting between the President of Georgia and the Director-General

The Director-General thanked the President for his visit to UNESCO and expressed deep appreciation for the fruitful relationship between Georgia and the Organization across the full spectrum of the Organization’s fields of competence, and in particular in the fields of education and culture.

“Georgia is very connected to UNESCO and to the great work of the Organization” stressed the President of Georgia, in referring to the close cooperation ever since Georgia joined UNESCO as a Member State in 1992. The President expressed great appreciation for the role it played in strengthening education and empowering women worldwide. In this regard, President Margvelashvili underlined that, following a decision of the Georgian Parliament, 2015 was declared by him as the year of women in Georgia, thus highlighting the importance he personally attaches to gender equality and gender empowerment, one of UNESCO’s global priorities.

The Director-General and the President then exchanged on the current status of the World Heritage Sites in Georgia, and specifically concerning the two sites of the historical monuments of Mtskheta, and the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in Danger, stressing the efforts conducted by his government to redress the aspects relating to their conservation and management and underlining that both properties will be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session later this year in Istanbul.

“UNESCO greatly appreciates Georgia’s contribution to the Organization. The cooperation with your country in the fields of education and culture is particularly important” – stated the Director-General. The Director-General made reference to the universality of the new Agenda for Sustainable Development, emphasizing that UNESCO feels a particular responsibility to assist all Member States in its implementation, and therefore looks forward to working closely with Georgia to this end.

In discussing the important role played by education, the President commended UNESCO’s work in this regard and referred to Georgia’s stance as an active member of the Bologna Process. In this spirit, the Director-General informed the President that UNESCO is currently exploring possibilities of elaborating a global convention on the mutual recognition of diplomas to promote students’ mobility and set global standards. The President also emphasized the importance of mother-language education.

In concluding, the Director-General expressed satisfaction for the level of cooperation between UNESCO and Georgia, and noted the important contribution to the Organization of pianist Elisso Bolkvadze who was designated as a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2015, in recognition of her support to musical education and artistic creativity of young talents and her dedication to UNESCO’s ideals.