On 10 March, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met His Excellency Mr Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi.
The Director-General commended President Nkurunziza for his commitment in the favour of peace and the fight against poverty, underlining the central role of education and the importance of free education, as well as physical education and sport.
President Nkurunziza thanked the Director-General for the long lasting cooperation forged between his country and UNESCO. He referred to the long-term planning instrument “Vision 2025”, and its strategic framework for growth and the fight against poverty (CSCLPII 2012-2016), and reiterated his desire to continue Burundi’s collaboration with UNESCO – with the goals of Burundi benefitting fully from the dividends of peace, capitalizing on its achievements, and sharing this experience at a sub-regional and regional level.
The Director-General reaffirmed UNESCO’s commitment to support Burundi across its fields of competence, and to help specifically with the implementation of a number of projects -- including the inscription of the Drums of Burundi on the List of Intangible Heritage, as part of the case for culture and development, the Virtual Library Project, and the proposal of an Institute of Sports and Physical Education, intended to become a regional reference centre for sport.
The House for a Culture of Peace in Burundi, which embodies the priority accorded to Africa by UNESCO, will play a central role across the region.