The hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javedkar and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, who was undertaking her fourth official visit to India (30 August to 2 September 2017), jointly inaugurated the new premises of UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office at 1 San Martin Marg, Chanakyapuri, on 30 August 2017, at 5.00pm.
The inaugural ceremony, was addressed by Dr Karan Singh, Member of Rajya Sabha and UNESCO Executive Board Member; Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mr Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The building provided by Government of India has been designed by famed architect Satish Gujral, who was present at the ceremony. Situated in the heart of capital’s diplomatic area, the building is a stunning medley of creative artistry and functionality.
“This building stands a symbol of the values shared by India and UNESCO, of our belief in the power of education, the sciences, culture, communication and information as foundations for sustainable development and a more just and peaceful world,” says UNESCO’s Director-General.
UNESCO’s friendship with India traces back to 1946, when India became one of the founding members of the Organization. A short film “70 years of UNESCO in India: Living in Harmony and Peace” was also screened during the event.
Over the decades, India has been an ardent and influential supporter of UNESCO’s mission and ideals, culminating in the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UNESCO Headquarters in April 2015. Ms Bokova’s visit is expected to further strengthen these ties.
On day one, the Director-General held bilateral meetings with the Minister for Human Resource Development and President of the UNESCO National for UNESCO, Prakash Javadekar; the Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and addressed the closing ceremony of the two-day Regional Consultation of UNESCO New Delhi Cluster National Commissions. She also participated in an international consultation on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education and in the Talking Across Generations event on 31 August organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
On 1 September, she will travel to Gujarat on a two-day trip and will visit the Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s Stepwell), a World Heritage Site located in Patan. During the final leg of her mission, she will visit the historic city of Ahmedabad, the first urban centre in India to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2017, and will hand over the Certificate of Inscription to Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, at the event being organized by the state government.