On 11 April, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, participated in the national ceremony to launch the International Year of Light 2015 in Algeria. The event took place at the Palace of Culture in Algiers in the presence of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the Minister of Culture.
“Science holds many answers to the challenges we face today,” said the Director-General. “And the International Year of Light was established to highlight the role of science, of light, in the lives of the citizens of the world.”
“This International Year of Light should be an opportunity to bring countries and peoples together,” stated Irina Bokova. “Science, a driver for innovation, is also a source or employment, industrial dynamism and social integration,” she continued, highlighting that the scientific and intellectual achievements of the Islamic Civilization changed the face of the world in the VIII-XV century, and they can do it again, with adequate political commitment.
“UNESCO is fully mobilized in this effort, and that’s why I wanted to be in Algiers today to launch this year and to fight the darkness of ignorance with the lights of science,” declared the Director-General.
The International Year of Light is a global initiative to highlight to citizens across world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. It is a unique opportunity to inspire, educate, and connect on a global scale.
On the same day, the Director-General met the Prime Minister of Algeria. HE Mr. Sellal warmly thanked Ms Bokova for coming to Algiers on the occasion of the International Year of Light 2015, and for going to Constantine, Capital of Arab Culture 2015. He commended UNESCO’s work in the protection of culture and in education and reiterated his country’s commitment to UNESCO.
The Director-General also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria. After warmly thanking the Director-General, the Foreign Minister underlined the importance and unique role of UNESCO, which according to him, is on the right side of history when it responds with culture and light to obscurantism. "UNESCO's mandate is more relevant than ever," said the Minister, especially in the fight against all forms of fanaticism and extremism.