Recognizing her contribution to advancing a vision of development anchored in people, heritage and culture, the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam awarded the Director-General an honorary doctor degree in Ha Noi on 21 June.
In awarding the degree, Dr Dang Dinh Quy, the Academy's President, praised the Director-General for consolidating mutual understanding through education, science and culture and thanked her for UNESCO's active support to Viet Nam and for her friendship towards the Vietnamese people.
Mrs Bokova accepted the degree, stating that it was a personal honour and one for UNESCO. "Viet Nam has always been an active member of UNESCO with impressive development in all areas of our cooperation. I have seen how much you cherish your history and that you are striving to balance your economic and social development while protecting your millennial heritage and traditions. This is the only way to respond to globalization today."
In her lecture to students and faculty of the Academy, the Director-General stated that "culture is one of the most powerful forces we have for peace and development, for dignity and sustainability, for cohesion and growth."
She commended Viet Nam for valuing and protecting its heritage, diversity and history, reflected in the country's 7 World Heritage sites, 7 expressions on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and 8 Biosphere Reserves.
Students from the Academy, a prestigious training ground for future diplomats, leaders, civil servants, journalists and business executives, exchanged with the Director-General on how to balance modernity with the safeguarding of heritage and traditional values, and to increase the visibility of the country's heritage through sustainable tourism.