President Jimmy Morales Cabrera of Guatemala visits UNESCO

jimmy_morales_688px.jpg

© UNESCO/Christelle ALIX
09 June 2017

Paris, le 09 Jun—The President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales Cabrera, visited UNESCO on Friday 9 June to celebrate cooperation between his country and the Organization. Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, welcomed the President and the First Lady of Guatemala, Patricia de Morales, on behalf of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Several members of the Organization’s senior management team joined them to review initiatives such as the conservation project for the Tikal National Park, inscribed as a World Heritage site since 1979. The project, financed by Japan, aims to consolidate the most vulnerable parts of the site’s North Acropolis and develop a digital archive for purposes of conservation and public education. The Assistant Director-General praised Guatemala for its work on the preservation of its underwater cultrual heritage, which paved the way for the scientific mission UNESCO will send to Lake Atitlán in the near future. The mission will study Mayan archaeological sites situated on the floor of the lake and develop a management plan for the preservation of these sites in cooperation with local communities. In education, they highlighted the reinforcement of distance secondary education underway in Guatemala, which UNESCO will support, and reviewed plans to create a UNESCO Chair for Peace, Security, Justice and Human Rights at the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO). They also discussed the place of Guatemala, a country of great linguistic diversity, in the atlas of world languages that UNESCO is preparing. The visit ended with a concert of marimba, described as Guatemala’s national musical instrument, with performances by soprano Adriana González, violinist Survier Flores and the Flores Quartet. “For Guatemalans, the marimba sums what we are, a mix of the cultures of Africa and Europe with those of the New World, particularly that of the Maya,” said Marco Tulio Chicas Sosa, Guatemala’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, in his presentation of the concert. “It is heart-warming to see the talent that is to be found in Guatemala,” said President Morales Cabrera as he thanked the performers. “If we come together we can work wonders,” he declared. The President was accompanied by his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso, Finance Minister, and Julio Héctor Estrada. ****