10th award ceremony of the Prize of the Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain for Poetic Creativity “Chawki-Lamartine”

On 31 October 2006, Koďchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, opened the 10th award ceremony of the Prize of the Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain for Poetic Creativity “Chawki-Lamartine”.

It was the second time that this ceremony has been held in Europe. Organized by Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain and Mr Abdulrazzak Al-Nafisi, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Kuwait to UNESCO, this Prize is aimed to celebrate poetic creativity in the Arab region and to communicate this inspirational heritage throughout the world.

Considering the fact that these aims “resonate deeply with the mission of UNESCO”, Mr Matsuura welcomed this “excellent opportunity to reflect on the notion of intercultural dialogue, as well as on the role of the poet in encouraging mutual understanding and respect among cultures”.

The Director-General recalled that “encouraging creativity, and enabling it to flourish in a spirit of diversity and freedom, is one of the best ways of promoting cultural vitality and, through this, of sustaining human development”. “It is in this spirit that UNESCO has launched several literary and poetic initiatives, including the celebration of World Poetry Day and the establishment of a World Poetry Directory. Such activities correspond closely to the Foundation’s own work”, he added.

Congratulating the laureates, Mr Matsuura expressed his conviction that they have “an important mission to fulfil, a mission that is both aesthetic and ethical”. “Poetry possesses a unique pedagogical virtue. Combining intelligence with sensibility, poetry speaks to all of man’s being, capturing the essence of our shared humanity. The rhythmic nature of poetry lends itself naturally to music and songs, which reinforces its power of communication. And in today’s era of globalization, new information technologies offer unprecedented possibilities for expanding the influence of poetry still further, especially among young people”, he concluded.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash info n°172-2006
  • 08-11-2006
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