On 1 December 2014, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, paid a visit to the Republic of Bulgaria. At a special ceremony in the Regional centre for the Safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, she handed to the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, a certificate proclaiming Sofia Creative City of Film.
The Creative Cities Network aims to promote sustainable urban development, taking full advantage of the potential of culture and creativity, while contributing to shape and implement the post-2015 Development Agenda at the global level. This Network is guided by the belief that cities are key laboratories of ideas and practices providing new and creative solutions to identity and address the emergent challenges faced by our societies. Sofia will gain useful experience from other countries in becoming part of the UNESCO Network, inspiring Bulgarian artists and managers who work in the field of cinema to develop strategic plans for their future, including the continued development of film infrastructure in accordance with the new technologies.
The Director-General also opened a children’s exhibition entitled “Myths and legends of our native city”, organized by the municipality of Sofia and the UNESCO Center for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in SEE.
On the sidelines of the visit, the Director-General had talks with the Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Mitov, Deputy Foreign Minister Katya Todorova and the Secretary General of the National Commission of Bulgaria for UNESCO Maria Donska to review relations between Bulgaria and UNESCO.
They ascertained that the bilateral cooperation is steadily expanding in many areas of the Organization’s competence. Bulgaria actively participates in UNESCO’s action in South-East Europe and supports the Organization’s initiatives in several developing countries through extra-budgetary contributions. UNESCO’s e-learning tool "Women in African History", funded by the Bulgarian Trust Fund.
Bulgaria is especially supportive of UNESCO’s programmes relating to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, through the Regional UNESCO Category II Center for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe hosted in Sofia. The Center also contributes to advancing the Organization's strategic objectives and priorities in the area of culture and development.