Premier Mr Li Keqiang affirmed the Chinese Government’s appreciation for UNESCO’s actions to promote education, cultural diversity and the safeguarding of heritage and pledged his country’s continued long-term cooperation, during a meeting with Director-General Irina Bokova in Paris on 30 June.
“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations and of UNESCO and a new stage in the development of your Organization,” affirmed the Premier. “We stand for deepening cooperation between UNESCO and China through joint actions in education, culture and people-to-people exchanges, convinced that these are favourable to mutual respect among different civilizations and the realization of unity in diversity.”
The Director-General highlighted the breadth of China’s excellent cooperation with UNESCO, geared to building peace and advancing human dignity, the core mission of the Organization.
Recalling the historic visit of President Xi Jinping to UNESCO in March 2014, the Director-General referred to his speech that drew on China’s millennial history and culture to affirm the importance of cultural diversity, tolerance and dialogue. This vision, notably embodied in the “Chinese Dream” and the Silk Road Initiative, resonates with UNESCO’s projects to foster dialogue and mutual understanding across Asia through the promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. She also praised China’s engagement in the network of Creative Cities, encouraging continued involvement.
Turning to education, the Director-General highlighted the significance of the International Conference on ICT and Post-2015 Education in Qingdao in May 2015, inaugurated by Vice Premier Liu Yandong and attended by some 40 ministers. She also underlined the successful partnership with China to support the development of education in least developed countries of sub-Saharan Africa that is yielding positive results.
She further affirmed UNESCO’s pride in counting First Lady Professor Peng Liyuan as a Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education, and welcomed her agreement to participate in an event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Premier Li Keqiang expressed appreciation for UNESCO’s support to the President of the General Conference and Vice Minister of Education, Mr Hao Ping. The Director-General recognized the constructive contribution of President Hao and his outstanding contribution to the promotion of UNESCO.
The Premier was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Wang Yi and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Wang Chao, the Vice Minister of Education and President of the UNESCO General Conference Mr Hao Ping, the Ambassador of China to France Mr Zhai Jun; the Secretary-General of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO Mr Du Yue and Ambassador Zhang Xiuqin, Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.