Annual Meeting of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors 2017


On 20 April, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova received UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors on the occasion of the Annual Meeting 2017. The main objective of this meeting was to examine the priority activities of the Organization for months to come and to discuss the best way these personalities could contribute to the realization of these activities.

The Annual Meeting was also an occasion to share the details of the various projects and activities that the Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors have implemented in their respective domains since the last Annual Meeting in May 2017.  

The journey of 20 April 2017 was focused on the presentations of the World Humanities Conference, UNESCO’s actions for Youth, as well as the high-level United Nations Conference on Ocean.

Following the Director-General’s opening speech, the World Humanities Conference was presented by Professor Jean Winand, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Liège, Co-chair of the International Programme Committee, Professor Luiz Oosterbeek, Secretary-General of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH), and Ms Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences. The World Humanities Conference will gather participants from all over the world working in the fields of science, politics, art and communication. The talks will focus on the six following main themes: Humans and the environment; Cultural identities, cultural diversity and intercultural relations; Cultural heritage; Boundaries and migrations; History, memory and politics; The humanities in a world in transition.

During the afternoon session, the Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors were informed about UNESCO’s various activities for Youth. During this presentation, Ms Nada Al-Nashif has recalled her field visit to Uganda in February last, accompanied by Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation. While emphasizing the importance of the projects that Forest Whitaker is implementing in Uganda and in South Sudan to support young people, Nada El-Nashif encouraged other UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors to bring their support to the Organization’s actions related to Youth. She also recalled the support that Metin Arditi, Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue and Eijin Nimura, UNESCO Artist for Peace bring to the Organization in this crucial area.

The high-level United Nations Conference on Ocean and on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, which will be at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, was also presented to Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors. This Conference, aiming to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our oceans, will also be solutions-focused with engagement from all.

The Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors such as Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis, Mr Serge and Ms Beate Klarsfeld, Mr Jean-Michel Jarre, Mrs Bahia Hariri, Mr Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, Lady Cristina Owen-Jones, Mr Metin Arditi, Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, Professor Jean Malaurie, Mrs Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, Mr Seidnaly Sidahmed Alphadi, Mrs Maha El-Khalil Chalabi, Mr Kudsi Ergüner, Mrs Zarifa Mgoyan, Mr Zurab Tsereteli, Mrs Marianna Nicolesco, Mr Herman Makarenko, Mrs Cecile Guidote-Alvarez and many others participated at this meeting.