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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
24-02-2004 4:00 pm This year’s meeting of UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors, scheduled for February 26 and 27 at Paris Headquarters, will focus on three themes: Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, HIV/AIDS preventive education, and the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will open the meeting on February 26 at 10 a.m. The first session will deal with intangible cultural heritage. Following speeches by Michael Abiola Omolewa, President of the General Conference, and Hans-Heinrich Wrede, Chairperson of the Executive Council, Mounir Bouchenaki, Assistant Director General for Culture, will present UNESCO’s activities in that domain.

In October 2003, UNESCO’s General Conference adopted a new convention, which will enter into force when it is ratified by at least 30 Member States. In addition, since 1991, UNESCO has proclaimed 47 Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, each a vivid representation of the world’s cultural wealth and diversity.

HIV/AIDS preventive education, presented by Gudmund Hernes, President of the AIDS Working Group (afternoon session, February 26), and the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition, presented by Katerina Stenou, Director of the Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue (afternoon session, February 27), will be the other key topics of the meeting.

During the meeting of Goodwill Ambassadors, the traditional Japanese theatre group, Ninyo Johruri Bunraku, one of the Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, will put on a special performance on Thursday, February 26, at 7 p.m. On February 27 at 10 a.m., Goodwill Ambassadors are invited to the opening of an exhibition, “The African Diaspora in the Americas”, held in the context of the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition.

The following Ambassadors have already confirmed their attendance: Ara Abramian, Valdas Adamkus, Patrick Baudry, Pierre Bergé, Claudia Cardinale, Cheik Modibo Diarra, Miguel Angel Estrella, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Bahia Hariri, Ikuo Hirayama, Jean-Michel Jarre, Omer Zülfü Livaneli, Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco, Kitin Munoz, Ute-Henriette Ohoven, Cristina Owen-Jones, Kim Phuc Phan Thi, Susana Rinaldi, Sheikh Ghassam I. Shaker, Madanjeet Singh, Zurab Tsereteli and Marianna Vardinoyannis.

UNESCOPRESS/N°2004-12 – 2

The working sessions will not be open to the public.

* * * *

Opportunities for press coverage are scheduled as follows:

Opening session, open to the press, February 26, 10 to 12 a.m.

Photo session and press interviews, February 26, 12.15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Opening of the exhibition “The African Diaspora in the Americas”, open to the press, February 27 at 10 a.m.

Journalists wishing to attend the performance of “Ningyo Johruri Bunraku” on February 26 at 7 p.m. may obtain an invitation by calling +33 (0)1 4568 1747

Journalists must have accreditation from:
UNESCO Press Service
Tel. +33 (0)1 4568 1748

Goodwill Ambassadors website

Source Media Advisory No 2004 - 12


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