Paris / WAM
UAE and UNESCO officials met in Paris to discuss developing countries, with a focus on health, education, social services, and the safeguarding of world cultural heritages.
Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), met Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), who is paying a working visit to France.
Of note, the UAE and France launched an international fund for the preservation of endangered heritages during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in September 2016.
Al Qubaisi commended UNSECO’s active role in advancing local and international issues of concern, including education, culture and heritage.
She also praised the existing co-operation between the UAE and the UN organisation, especially in the area of intangible cultural heritage. Al Qubaisi noted that many UAE cultural heritage sites, particularly in Al Ain, had been included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
She also affirmed the UAE leadership’s commitment to safeguarding the local cultural heritage for its rich historical, artistic, intellectual,literary, religious and human value.
The two sides asserted the role of parliamentary, cultural and academic institutions in protecting people from extremist and terrorist ideologies, preserving human cultural heritage and promoting values of interaction and tolerance. Al Qubaisi highlighted UNESCO’s role in countering terrorism by spreading education and culture.
The UNSECO chief praised the leadership, government, educational and humanitarian institutions of the UAE for supporting the organisation’s educational and training initiatives for students, teachers and curricula, citing as an example the UNESCO-Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers.
Bokova said she was delighted at receiving Dr. Al Qubais, being the first woman to become president of a parliamentin the Arab World.
She added that during her meeting with Al Qubaisi, they discussed a wide range of issues regarding sustainable development, peace, refugees, values, and inter-cultural dialogue.
With regards to preservation of cultural heritage, Bokova said they agreed on the importance of maximising efforts to prevent extremists from targeting these sites.