On October 22, the international community paid tribute to UNESCO director general Koïchiro Matsuura in a moving ceremony that featured performers from all around the world.
The ceremony was held as part of the 35th session of the UNESCO General Conference. Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and France’s minister of culture and communication, Frédéric Mitterrand, were among the many people invited to speak.
Abdoulaye Wade praised “Mr. Matsuura’s work to safeguard the cultural heritage of humanity, notably through the adoption of three standard-setting instruments: the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity; the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage; and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,” UNESCO reports on its website.
For his part, Frédéric Mitterrand, the minister of culture and communication for France—UNESCO’s host country—paid tribute to the director general “for adopting new standard-setting instruments in the field of culture, notably the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions ... an instrument of international solidarity that can help cultural policies really take off in developing countries.”