On 26 September, the Director-General participated in the 40th anniversary of membership of Bangladesh in the United Nations, with HE Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon. High level representatives from the Russian Federation, India, the United States of America and the United Kingdom also spoke at the event.
The event was held in the context of the session of the UN General Assembly, with HE Dr A K Abdul Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations.
Speaking before a packed assembly, the Prime Minister stressed her commitment to the principles that have always driven Bangladesh's vision of the UN -- "peace building, human rights and development."
She underlined the need to craft new approaches to "development, for people's empowerment -- development that is sustainable, that is inclusive, that leaves no one behind."
Sheikh Hasina thanked all friends of Bangladesh, in Member States and the UN, for their support to Bangladesh during reconstruction and in supporting the country's human development goals.
In her intervention, Irina Bokova spoke of the vision of dialogue and peace that has guided Bangladesh for forty years in the United Nations.
She underlined the leadership of Bangladesh for UNESCO -- in promoting girls and women's education, as a champion country of the Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative, in advancing the culture of peace and non-violence, in promoting dialogue and cultural diversity, including linguistic diversity, through International Mother Tongue Language Day.
The Director-General thanked the Prime Minister in particular for the strength of her convictions in support of UNESCO's values and objectives.
"Bangladesh's vision of a pro-people, pro-planet peaceful and sustainable world for all is essential today," said Irina Bokova.
"Bangladesh shows that strong political will and effective policies can really make a difference -- and this message is essential now as the world shapes a new sustainable development agenda."
"Suvo jonmodin!" she said, wishing a happy birthday to Bangladesh.