UNESCO Chief Praises “Women In Art For Peace”

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Emphasizing the link between humanitarian efforts and preserving world heritage, Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, congratulated IPI on its “Women in Art for Peace” exhibition, which she visited, May 18, 2017.

Addressing the press, Ms. Bokova said, “I am delighted to be here and to see women painters being encouraged about art for peace.”

The exhibition, which features peace-themed works by seventeen international female artists, “resonates very deeply with UNESCO’s mandate,” she said. “We are working to empower women to be full partners in this quest for peace.”

Addressing world heritage and humanitarian challenges in the region and beyond, the UNESCO Chief turned to Security Council Resolution 2347. The resolution, she said, is important and historic because it makes the connection between humanitarian concerns and the protection of heritage. “The protection of heritage is not just a cultural concern. It is a security imperative,” she said. Speaking in Manama, she also noted, “Bahrain is known for protection of heritage.”

On the education of refugees, Ms. Bokova said, “the issue has been there for a long time. UNESCO published in 2011 the Global Monitoring Report on Education, and this was dedicated to the education in emergencies.” However, at the time, “it wasn’t very high on the agenda of the international community. Then of course came the Syrian crisis. Millions are displaced within the country or outside.”

Bokova pleaded for more efforts on refugee education. With mass displacement spurred by crises like the Syrian conflict, “Education is the best way for building the future for the refugees and host communities,” she said.

Education is also one of the strongest “barriers to stop extremism,” she said. “When this generation is lost in the making, they are very easy prey for extremist ideologies.”

Ms. Soha Elfar, Ambassador of Egypt to Bahrain, also visited the “Women in Art for Peace” exhibition. She appreciated “the idea of getting painters from countries affected by crises” to illustrate a call for peace. Hailing the “expression used in artwork,” she said “women have a lot to say and a lot to contribute to peace.”

The exhibition is organized by IPI-MENA in collaboration with Europe’s Art Gallery and Artwed.

Diplomats, government officials, members of civil society, media professionals and artists were present during the visit.

Related Coverage (in Arabic):
Bahrain: Bokova visits National Museum,” Bahrain News Agency, May 19, 2017 (Starting Minute 2:15 onwards)
“‘Education is the best way to build future’- UNESCO Chief Bokova; Bahrain Has A Long History In Education,” Al Ayam, May 19, 2017