On 20 August, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova met with the President of Tajikistan, His Excellency Mr Emomali Rahmon, following the opening ceremony of the International High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation.
The Director-General thanked the President for his country’s leadership and its initiative to host the International High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation as well as for his support to UNESCO’s priorities and values. She also expressed her appreciation for the longstanding and close cooperation that the Organization enjoys with Tajikistan in the field of freshwater. In that context, the Director-General paid tribute to the President’s personal efforts to promote freshwater issues at the international level, and highlighted UNESCO’s firm commitment to raise the profile of water issues on the global development agenda.
The President welcomed the fruitful cooperation established between his country and UNESCO, recalling that Tajikistan celebrates this year the 20th anniversary of its membership in the Organization. He thanked the Director-General for UNESCO’s support to his country across all fields of its mandate.
During her official visit to Tajikistan, the Director-General also met Mr Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan. They exchanged views on multiple aspects of cooperation between UNESCO and Tajikistan and reiterated their commitment to strengthening it further. The Director-General recalled Minister Zarifi’s visit to UNESCO in February 2013 to participate in the launching ceremony of the International Year of Water Cooperation. Mr Zarifi thanked Ms Bokova for UNESCO’s continued commitment in addressing the country’s needs in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.
The Director-General also met Mr Asrori Mirzoshohruh, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Chairman of the National Commission of Tajikistan for UNESCO. During this meeting, the Director-General congratulated Tajikistan for having successfully inscribed the Tajik National Park (Mountains of Pamirs) on the World Heritage List in June 2013. Minister Mirzoshohruh accompanied the Director-General during her visits to the Tajik National Park as well as to the ancient town of Hissor.
On 21 August, the Director-General inaugurated the “UNESCO Corner” at the National Library, which will be run by the Federation of UNESCO Clubs of Tajikistan.
“Our vision is clear – the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, it should be preserved for all, protected for all, accessible to all”, said the Director-General in her speech.
Ms Bokova said that UNESCO Corner will help to spread UNESCO’s messages more widely, to reach new audiences, and to stimulate new thinking.