Monday, 16 March – The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met with Mr Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for education and culture, to discuss and strengthen cooperation between UNESCO and the European Commission.
"I take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the support of the European Commission, in all key areas of UNESCO’s mandate, to protect heritage in conflict, to support Syrian refugees in Jordan, and so much more. Expectations are high, especially as regards the situation in Syria and Iraq, and we must join forces to step up our efforts,” said the Director-General.
‘There is a strategic alliance between the European Union and UNESCO,” said the Commissioner, highlighting key cooperation in education and culture as means to empower and integrate people and youth in societies, in order to combat extremism. “This is true in Europe and elsewhere, it is a global issue, and we need to better connect education and culture as part of the answer. Citizenship education and culture are key to reintegrate people within societies,” he added.
The Director-General shared a series of events and initiatives by UNESCO to protect heritage and combat extremism, and called for an even deeper cooperation with the European Union. “We can do much more with youth and this is precisely the purpose of the Net-Med project we implement together,” She said.
The Director-General and the European Commissioner also discussed cooperation in the field of cultural industries and culture for sustainable development, in the context of the 10th anniversary of the Convention for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions that was strongly supported by the European Union at the time of its adoption.