The President of the Hellenic Republic visits UNESCO

The President of the Hellenic Republic visits UNESCO
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 18 October 2007, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, Mr George N. Anastassopoulos, President of the General Conference, and Mr Zhang Xinsheng, Chairman of the Executive Board, welcomed H.E. Mr Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic, to UNESCO. The President was accompanied by Mr Petros Doukas, State Secretary for External Affairs, Ambassador Konstantinos Georgiou, Secretary-General of the Presidency, and Mr Christos Zachopoulos, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Culture.

During a bilateral meeting in the presence of the President of the General Conference and the Chairperson of the Executive Board prior to the intervention of President Papoulias at the General Conference, the Director-General highlighted the importance of the regional Summits of Heads of State of South-East Europe, which had been organized annually since 2003 under the auspices of UNESCO. He expressed his appreciation about the President’s initiative to host the next Summit meeting in Athens in June 2008.

The President told the Director-General that the preparations for the Athens Summit on “Intercultural Encounters on Maritime, River and Lake Routes of South-East Europe” were well under way. He also underscored the importance of building on what had been achieved at the previous Summits.

In his address at the plenary of the 34th session of the General Conference, the President highlighted UNESCO’s action in the fight against illiteracy and doping in sports, as well as in the promotion of bioethics, tangible and intangible cultural heritage and cultural diversity.

Underscoring the importance of justice and respect for human rights, which had underpinned the creation of UNESCO, President Papoulias defined them as “sine qua non conditions for the establishment of peace”.

In closing, the President stated that “UNESCO’s efforts and philosophy guide us on the path to take if we want to implement the ideals of its Constitution, notably, universal peace, respect for human rights and dignity and the development of democratic societies.” (For more information on the President’s speech, please refer to UNESCO Press Release No 2007–125)

The Director-General also hosted a luncheon in the honour of President Papoulias with the participation of the President of the General Conference.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 143-2007
  • 22-10-2007
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