The First Lady of Azerbaijan to be appointed UNESCO Goodwill AmbassadorUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will appoint Mehriban Aliyeva, the First lady of Azerbaijan, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Oral and Musical Traditions, at a cermony to be held at the Organization’s Headquarters on September 9 (12:30).
The appointment comes in recognition of the First Lady’s “actions to promote traditional music, literature and poetry, her role in the promotion of musical education and international cultural exchanges, and her dedication to the Organization’s ideals.”
A qualified physician, Mehriban Aliyeva is actively engaged in the areas of culture, education and sport. Since 1995, via her charitable foundation “Friends of Azerbaijan”, she has helped to increase knowledge of her country’s cultural wealth, notably its oral and intangible heritage, while working to ensure its conservation at national and regional level through such manifestations as festivals, exhibitions, cultural events and concerts.
Mrs Aliyeva, the mother of three children, is also equally concerned by the problems of early childhood. Her commitment and charitable works in this domain include the renovation and modernization of an orphanage in the Baku region, the opening of a music school in a refuge camp, and the provision of treatment for children suffering from diabetes. As President of the National Gymnastic Federation of Azerbaijan she has also contributed to the development of sport in her country.
In her role as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs Aliyeva will support the Organization’s activities for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, especially oral traditions and expressions, performing arts and traditional craftmanship. She will also contribute to the promotion of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural heritage, adopted by the 32nd session of the UNESCO’s General Conference on October 17, 2003.
Goodwill Ambassadors help to promote UNESCO’s message, and include such personalities as French Astronaut Patrick Baudry, Malian scientist Cheick Modibo Diarra, former President of Iceland Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Spanish navigator Kitin Munoz and Italian actress Claudia Cardinale.
Journalists wishing to cover the event should be accredited by UNESCO’s Press Relations Service , Contact Isabelle Le Fournis, tel : +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 – firstname.lastname@example.org