Bulgaria's UNESCO Director-General: Reelection is Vote of Confidence

Culture | December 21, 2013, Saturday // 20:09|  views

Irina Bokova was re-elected for a second 4-year term in office as Director-General of UNESCO in early November. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Irina Bokova has referred to her reelection as Director-General of UNESCO as a vote of confidence.

Bokova was re-elected for a second 4-year term in office as Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 5 and she took an oath of office on November 18.

In a Saturday interview for Darik radio, she declared that the preservation of cultural heritage in countries experiencing armed conflicts had been among the most important tasks of UNESCO in 2013, adding that the organization would remain on the agenda in 2014 too.

She pointed out that the military action in Syria had resulted in a huge humanitarian catastrophe and the issue of refugees was a major concern in neighboring countries where there were millions of refugees.

Bokova announced that the EU and UNESCO cooperated for the creation of education and qualification systems for the children at refugee camps.

She claimed that Bulgaria had a good reputation at UNESCO, stressing the contribution of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country to that.

Bokova reminded that Bulgaria had 7 cultural sites and 2 natural sites on the World Heritage List and that the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists contained the folklore group of the Bistrishki Babi, or Grannies of Bistritsa, and the Nestinarstvo fire-dancing rite.

She emphasized that Bulgaria had the opportunity to inscribe more sites, at the same time keeping in mind that the ones that were already on the list had to be maintained.

Bokova suggested that Bulgaria could add at least ten local traditions to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, stressing that it was time to take concrete steps to achieve that.

Her New Year wish to Bulgaria was that the country succeed in finding its balance and orientation so as to be aware of where it was headed and what it wanted to achieve.

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Tags: Irina Bokova, UNESCO, UNESCO Director General, World Heritage List, Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, Syria crisis, refugees, war in Syria


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