Sunday, September 04, 2011

An Account of UNESCO Chief's Visit to Israel

UNESCO Chief Bokova meets with
Israel's President Shimon Peres during her visit.

I quote from a relatively long article in the Jerusalem Post covering the first official visit of UNESCO Director General Bokova to Israel. The visit took place on May 29 and 30, 2011.
Highlighting her organization’s “excellent cooperation” with Israel in a variety of fields including education, culture, science and communications, the director-general of UNESCO said Sunday in Jerusalem that she had been “disappointed” by the process whereby UNESCO’s Executive Board last October passed five resolutions hostile to Israel. 
Irina Bokova, 58, who is making her first visit to Israel, noted, however, that reports that Israel had threatened to suspend all cooperation with UNESCO over the affair were inaccurate and had proved as such. “I was reassured immediately that Israel was by no means considering suspending or limiting relations with UNESCO,” she said. Officials in Jerusalem clarified Sunday that Israel had suspended cooperation with UNESCO only with regard to the five specific issues in the resolutions........

Bokova was invited on this visit to deliver the keynote speech at Sunday’s International Women Leaders conference at the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center, an institution with which she said UNESCO has had a long-running relationship. 
She also inaugurated the “UNESCO for Tolerance and Peace Square” in Haifa, in the company of the city’s mayor Yona Yahav. At the ceremony dedicating the square, she praised the mixed Jewish- Arab city as an exemplar of coexistence and dialogue between all population sectors. 
Haifa’s message of “tolerance and peace,” she said, should be disseminated across the Middle East and worldwide. 
Bokova began her trip on Sunday with a meeting with President Shimon Peres, and will on Monday visit and lay a wreath at Yad Vashem and meet with the ministers of education, science and culture and with senior officials at the Foreign Ministry.
Read more...... 

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