The 10th Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors took place in June 2010, at the UNESCO’’s Headquarters in Paris. It was the first official meeting of the Ambassadors with the new Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, who assumed her duties last November, following the end of service of Mr Koichiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO for 8 consecutive years.

Mrs Bokova opened the meeting with her speech which re-defined the actions of the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, calling on them to emphasize the promotion of culture and humanism as well as the guarantee of education for all until 2015, so that this important UN Millennium Development Goal is achieved. This was followed by the showing of a documentary that presented the multidimensional work of the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors in the past few years.

The documentary presented the Ambassadors’ activities for 2009, including the ones of the Greek Ambassador, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis. Her work has included international, humanitarian and cultural activities, as for example, the International Conference on climate change that was organised in Athens in June 2009 under the aegis of UNESCO and in collaboration with Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2007, the “End Human Trafficking Now!” campaign, that started in Athens in 2006, the organization of the International Conference on Human Trafficking that will be held in December 2009 in Luxor, Egypt; the “Education for all” campaign; the completion of the First Oncological Hospital for children in Greece by the ELPIDA Association; the financing of the “Centre for Hellenistic Studies” in the Library of Alexandria, as well as many other actions.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, spoke with very warm words for the contribution of the Greek Ambassador to the work of UNESCO. Additionally, the Ambassadors who participated in the Annual Meeting responded positively to Mrs Vardinoyannis’ the call for participation in the international campaign for the improvement of Greece’s image that has been affected by the crisis. The famous composer, Jean Michel Jarre was the first to give prompt support to the campaign, having previously supported Mrs Vardinoyannis with statements made some time earlier in Athens.

Mrs Vardinoyannis’’ initiative for an international campaign in favour of Greece will also be supported by, amongst others, Claudia Cardinale and HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan .

Mrs Vardinoyannis stated: ““The Ambassadors’’ response to my call for supporting Greece was touching, proving that our Greek spirit and culture are still highly estimated by the international community”