UNESCO Director-General meets with President Al-Sissi: “Egypt is an open book on the cultural diversity of humanity”

On 14 May, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt received Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO at the Presidential headquarters to discuss cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, media and communication.

The President and the Director-General jointly condemned the destruction of cultural heritage underway in Iraq and Syria notably “The destruction of culture is now on the frontline of new conflicts and the mandate of UNESCO, 70 years after its creation, has never been so important, to protect heritage and educate young people about the need to preserve it”, said President Al-Sissi, stressing the role of education and culture in the counter-terrorist agenda. “Here in Egypt, you can find everything, from the Pharaohs to Islamic Heritage”, he continued.

“Egypt is an open book on the cultural diversity of humanity. This must give us the courage and the political will to respond to extremism and foster the values of intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding for peace”, added the Director-General.

Ms. Bokova highlighted UNESCO’s pride in the historical partnership between Egypt and UNESCO and praised the Egyptian efforts to accelerate the developmental agenda, guided by the President’s leadership, particularly in the areas of technical and vocational education and training for youth. 

“Youth participation and education are key for social cohesion and inclusion, as they are a cornerstone to any investment in infrastructure and economy. This is an ambition we wish to carry forward with Egypt”, said the Director-General, expressing UNESCO’s readiness to support national policy for the development of technical and vocational education, to foster youth inclusion and social justice.