The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met Mr Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, on 23 January 2013. Their discussions focused on UNESCO’s cooperation with the host country, the ongoing reform to improve the Organization’s efficiency and priorities for the coming years under the new Medium-Term Strategy.
Recalling the importance of UNESCO’s mandate, the Director-General expressed her willingness to continue the reform undertaken to raise the efficiency of the Organization.
“In a world striving for economic and social justice, education, the protection of the environment and biodiversity, the management of social transformations and culture will continue to be essential levers for peace and sustainable development.”
The Minister commended the Director-General on her reform and rationalization efforts in a particularly tight budgetary context. He also welcomed the Director-General’s commitment to multilingualism and the use of French at UNESCO. Highlighting the special relations between France and UNESCO, the Minister restated France’s willingness to strengthen cooperation with UNESCO in key areas such as education, environmental protection, the diversity of cultural expressions and heritage. In this respect, the situation concerning cultural heritage in Mali was discussed as a matter of shared concern.