From 12 to 14 December, UNESCO Director-General is undertaking an official visit to Gabon on the occasion of the Pan-African Forum, held under the theme “African Youth and the Challenge of the promotion of Culture of Peace in Africa”.
This Forum is a direct follow-up to a number of high level conferences on the culture of peace in Africa, and particularly that of Luanda in 2013, and the action plan for the Culture of Peace in Africa that was launched on this occasion, giving the momentum to a vast movement of mobilization of civil society, women, and youth.
This Forum, jointly organized by the Omar Bongo Ondimba Foundation for Peace, Science, Culture and the Environment, the Gabonese National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of UNESCO and the African Union, will mark the official launch of a Youth Network for a Culture of Peace in Africa. It will bring together Presidents and Representatives of National Youth Councils of the 54 Member States of the African Union, the Representatives of African youth organizations recognized by UNESCO and the African Union as well as other relevant organizations and the Secretaries General of National Commissions for UNESCO of the Africa region.
On the occasion of the Forum, the Director-General will designate the Gabonese musician and composer, Pierre Claver Akendengue, as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, in recognition of his outstanding musical commitment to promote intercultural dialogue, his contribution to the promotion of tolerance and his dedication to the ideals of the Organization.
The Director-General will take part in the opening session alongside the Minister of National Education and Technical and Vocational Education, and President of UNESCO’s National Commission for Gabon, Ida Reteno Assonouet, the Honorary President of the Omar Bongo Ondimba Foundation for Peace, Science, Culture and the Environment, Pascaline Mferri Bongo Ondimba, the African Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Martial Paul De Ikounga, the Mayor of Libreville, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker.
While in Gabon, the Director-General is expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings with high level government representatives including the Minister of National Education and Technical and Vocational Education. She is also expected to meet with the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry.