Athens, 28 October 2021

With a view to the aftermath of the pandemic for all mankind, this year’s Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors was held today at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, in the presence of prominent personalities from all over the world, including Greek Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, who opened the Meeting, thanked the Ambassadors for the passion and energy with which they serve the values ​​and programs of UNESCO, at a critical time for mankind, conveying its messages in every corner of the Earth. At the same time, she presented the main priorities of the Organization’s work for the coming years in critical areas such as education, environment, cultural heritage, artificial intelligence and the fight against hate speech. Mrs. Azoulay stressed that UNESCO’s priority is to be close to civil society and to unite its voices with the decision-making centers, such as governments and international organizations.

The Goodwill Ambassadors addressed the major issues of concern to the global community. Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis was the first to speak about the great challenges of the pandemic, which, as she quoted, “placed the matter of health at the center of the attention as one of the supreme human rights, which we must defend and for which we must fight together”. In fact, Mrs. Vardinoyannis stressed that we should join forces in order to ensure the health of children and vulnerable social groups and she congratulated Mrs. Azoulay on her work and all the great initiatives that have been taken under her leadership.

During the Goodwill Ambassadors Meeting, the Programs of UNESCO in the fields of Education, Culture, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Communication and Informatics were presented by the Deputy Directors-General of the Organization.

The meeting was moderated by the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Jean-Michel Jarre.

Immediately after, Mrs. Vardinoyannis had a private meeting with the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay. During the meeting important national cultural issues were discussed.

At the end of the Meeting Mrs. Vardinoyannis stressed that “today’s meeting of the Ambassadors was a special opportunity to join forces in the face of the challenges of our times. Shortly before the UNESCO General Conference, with crucial decisions to be taken on issues of our future, such as the day after the pandemic, the ethics of artificial intelligence and the Open Science, the information we received from Mrs. Azoulay was very important. I am particularly delighted that through our cooperation, Greece will contribute with special initiatives for our culture”.

This year’s Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors was attended by: H.R.H.Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Teresa (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Luxembourg), Princess Dana Firas (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Jordan), Princess Firyal (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Jordan), Sir Nasser D. Khalili (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, United Kingdom), Amri Aminov (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Tajikistan), Metin Arditi (Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, Switzerland), Elisso Bolkvadzé (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Georgia), Maha El-Khalil Chalabi (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Lebanon), Kudsi Erguner (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Turkey), Alain Husson-Dumoutier (UNESCO Artist for Peace, France), Guila Clara Kessous (UNESCO Artist for Peace, France), Beate Klarsfeld (Honorary Goodwill Ambassador and Special Representative for Holocaust Education and Prevention, France), Sergeant Klarsfeld (Honorary Goodwill Ambassador and Special Representative for Holocaust Education and Prevention, France), Setsuko Klossowska de Rola (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Japan), Amine Kouider (Choeur et Orchestra Philharmonique International, UNESCO Artist for Peace, Ukraine), Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, France), Herman Makarenko (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Ukraine), Serguei Markarov (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Russia), Vera Michalski-Hoffmann (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Switzerland), Ino Mirkovic (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Croatia), Kitín Muñoz Valcarlez (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Spain), Eijin Nimura (UNESCO Artist for Peace, Japan), Alexandra Ochirova (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Russia), Ute-Henriette Ohoven (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Children in need, Germany), Hedva Ser (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Cultural Diplomacy, France). At the same time, 15 more Goodwill Ambassadors participated via video conference.