Director-General’s official visit to Lebanon

From 14 to 16 May, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is undertaking a visit to Lebanon where she is expected to meet with the Prime Minister, H.E. Mr Tammam Salam, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr Gebran Bassil, the Minister of Culture, H.E. Mr Raymond Araiji, the Minister of Education and Higher Education, H.E. Elias Bou Saab, and the Speaker of the Parliament, H. E. Mr Nabih Berri.

The visit takes place in a context of a strengthened cooperation between Lebanon and UNESCO, featuring new educational and cultural initiatives to promote the values of peace and tolerance among youth.

The Director-General will take part in a cultural event at the National Museum dedicated to the UNESCO #Unite4Heritage campaign, where together with young people, she will address the significance of standing united for the protection of cultural heritage and diversity. The campaign was first launched at the University of Baghdad, in Iraq, in March 2015, with the objective of using the power of social media to build support for the protection of heritage, where it is threatened by sectarian discourse and extremist violence.

The Director-General will also participate in a discussion with young people through the Voice of Lebanon Radio, on a programme entitled “Displacement and Worries,” dedicated to the challenges faced by young people affected by the Syria crisis in Lebanon.

The Director-General is expected to meet with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Girls Education, Chairperson of the Education Parliamentary Committee, Ms Bahia Hariri and the Vice President of Al Walid bin Talal Foundation, Ms Leila Al Solh, with whom UNESCO has a partnership agreement to strengthen the work of the UNESCO Office in Beirut in the area of educational resources and tools, by providing an E-Digital Library, a resource centre and a training facility – all to promote quality education for all in Lebanon, with a special focus on young people.

While in Lebanon, she will also meet with the Lebanese National Commission to UNESCO and launch the activities in Lebanon in the framework of the Organization’s 70th anniversary.