Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, received the distinction of Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honour of Mali from His Excellency Mr Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali.
“You have been awarded this decoration because of your action in Mali, and especially for your contribution to protecting the heritage of Timbuktu”, declared the President during a ceremony that took place on Saturday, 18 July 2015 at the presidential palace in Bamako. “Mali has a soul that is committed to peace, in a world that all too often refuses peace.”
“This award compels me even more, and it is an honour that I also accept in the name of UNESCO. We have experienced a historical day at Timbuktu with the restoration of the mausoleums, and I feel as if I were Malian and Timbuktuvian”, stated the Director-General. “UNESCO will continue to join Mali in protecting its heritage and ensuring quality education for all. That too is our contribution to the peace treaties that have just been signed”, she added.