Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, called for new efforts to build trust, on the basis of respect and mutual understanding, following the 199th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO,that closed on 14 April, 2016.
The UNESCO Executive Board took decisions on issues relating to the Middle East, including to the World Heritage Site of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls.
"Jerusalem is a Holy Land of the three monotheistic religions, a place of dialogue for all Jewish, Christian and Muslim people, nothing should be undertaken to alter iits integrity and authenticity" said Irina Bokova. "It is a mosaic of cultures and peoples, whose history has shaped the history of all humanity. Only respect and dialogue can build the trust we need to move forward -- this is the strength of UNESCO, for the benefit of all."
"I believe Member States have a responsibility to UNESCO’s mandate, to move forward in ways that promote dialogue, tolerance and peace,” continued Irina Bokova. “This is especially important for young people, who should be nurtured and educated for peace.”
The Director-General has always appealed for dialogue and consensus so that UNESCO’s mandate of protecting World Heritage and promoting tolerance and mutual respect can be taken forward.