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Closure of UNESCO's 60th anniversary celebrations
concert_250.JPG The exact anniversary of 4 November 1946, official date of the UNESCO Constitution’s entry into force, was marked by three of these events. They were representative of the myriad initiatives launched during this long cycle, and they are cited here in tribute to all the rest.

On 4 November, in Valencia (Spain), the Spanish National Commission held a major commemorative ceremony. As on 16 November 2005, the last three Directors-General and some outstanding international personalities took part. The gathering provided a final flourish to the series of events Member States and their national commissions staged in honor of UNESCO, in the spirit of complete decentralization prevailing throughout the celebration.

On 6 November at UNESCO in Paris, part three of a musical triptych entitled “Mozart but not only” was performed, involving Mozart and music in a dialogue between cultures and different musical traditions. Shared harmony helps “to build the defenses of peace”, and this occasion, like those of 16 November 2005 and 8 March 2006 (Women’s Day), represented a joyous opportunity for sharing among musicians from over 40 countries.

Finally, for the duration of the date “4 November” on the planet, meaning 36 hours starting at midnight Paris time, a team of volunteer radio operators on UNESCO’s roof set up more than 5000 links all over the world with the magic of shortwave communication. They used techniques (morse and phone) that gave life to global communications for a century and a half, and that are now in the process of becoming intangible cultural heritage, a language threatened with extinction. The project embodied the range of UNESCO ideals in all their glory: creating links between people for greater mutual understanding, highlighting precious heritage, directly involving civil society, promoting the free flow of ideas, putting science to its best uses and educating.

The close of “Belle Ile en Ciel”, the exhibition which swathed UNESCO headquarters in satellite portraits of the Earth, marked the end of this fertile period of celebrating the last 60 years. Yesterday UNESCO entered fully into its seventh decade.

Photo: © UNESCO / M. Ravassard

Author(s) Philippe Ratte
Website 1 (URL)
Publication Date 07 Nov 2006
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