In the framework of the XIX High Level Meeting of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, held in Rome, His Excellency, Mr Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, welcomed the members of the Board of Directors of the organisation and hosted a reception in their honour at the Quirinal Palace on Thursday 28 November 2019.

During the event and his speech, he congratulated the President and the members of the Board of Directors for the important work of the organisation, which brings together leaders from different countries of the world for an intercultural dialogue on the subjects of peace, safety, prevention of violence, and growth, in view of the 2030 agenda.

The event was also addressed by the Co-Chair of the organisation, Dr Vaira Vike Freiberga and Dr Ismail Sergeldin, as well as Mr Franco Frattini, former Foreign Minister of Italy.

The event culminated with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, founding member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, extending her welcome and presenting the President of the Italian Republic with a symbolic honorary plaque with a golden olive branch.

Addressing Mr Mattarella, Mrs Vardinoyannis said: “It is a great honour to meet you, and I would like to convey the warm greetings of His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos.  I wish to thank you for your kind invitation and valuable support to the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.  Please accept this symbolic gift in recognition of your great humanitarian contribution across the world.  It is an olive branch that symbolises peace and prosperity, a gift for you and your glorious country.  As a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, I would also like to refer to the issue of the protection of our monuments and cultural heritage from climate change, an issue I am well aware that you, as well as His Excellency the Greek President, Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos, are personally involved with.

Mr Mattarella thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis and stressed the importance of the protection of monuments from climate change, noting that her assistance will be invaluable and asking her to promptly take initiatives in cooperation with his office.