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The activities marking the 70th anniversary of Unesco began on Friday, 31st October 2014 in Paris (head office of the institution) with a tribute paid to the South African former president, Nelson Mandela died on 5th December 2013. The Haitian president, Michel Martelly and several artists took part in the event.
The Unesco General Manager, Irina Bokova, seized the occasion to praise the values promoted for a long time by the first Black president of South Africa. For Bokova, Nelson Mandela is « a man who embodied our faith in human dignity, our faith in the capacity of every woman and man to change the society through tolerance and peace« .
For the president of Haiti, Martelly, invited other leaders worldwide to imitate Nelson Mandela in order to keep peace on all the continents. « Today that the world is profoundly threatened, that the people become more and more radical, we need other Mandela to help us to overcome extremism and fanaticism, otherwise there will no more be possible return« , he indicated.
The ceremony of Friday also was the opportunity for the manager Unesco to evoke new challenges with which the world is confronted. « Violence today is directed against schools, cultural diversity, freedom and human rights« , she denounced.
As reminder, the United Nations for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) was created on 4th November 1945. It included at that time of 20 member states (195 today). Its first manager was the British, Julian Huxley.
Original textby: Roger ADZAFO