The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova has named philanthropist, writer, scholar and businessman, Metin Arditi as a UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue in recognition of his strong commitment to the protection of heritage in conflict, his promotion of art at the service of dialogue and mutual understanding, and his dedication to the ideals of UNESCO.
Metin Arditi has been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 18 December 2012 and has undertaken a number of peace and development projects in this capacity. Most notably, he inaugurated the centre for the manufacture and repair of string instruments at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Bethlehem (Palestine). The inauguration, 17 February this year, took place with the participation of Sandrine Salerno, Mayor of Geneva, and former Geneva Mayor Rémy Pagani.
Goodwill Ambassador Arditi also initiated a series of public conferences at the University of Geneva under the title “Cultural Heritage of Humanity: an Instrument for Peace.” The purpose of these conferences has been to raise public awareness of the vital role of culture in peace-building and the need to preserve heritage in times of conflict.
The Director-General of UNESCO spoke at one of these conferences, entitled, “Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Situations.” This was organized on 16 April 2014 in partnership with the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International relations and attracted a large audience.
Metin Arditi will deliver a speech at the next conference in the series on“The Role of the Arts in Peace Building,” which will be held at UNESCO’s Headquarters on 30 June.