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Xi Jinping Meets with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

On March 27 local time, President Xi Jinping met with Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Xi Jinping stressed, the international situation is now undergoing profound and complex changes and the mankind is facing increasing common challenges. It is necessary to enhance understanding and strengthen cooperation among countries and peoples. The UNESCO plays an irreplaceable role in this regard. China appreciates the UNESCO’s advocacy of cultural diversity, its focus on universal education, and especially its priority on gender equality and Africa, which have all achieved positive results.

Speaking highly of the long-standing cooperation between China and the UNESCO, President Xi Jinping said, China is willing to increase support for the Organization, especially in helping the African countries and the least developed countries in sustainable development and cultural preservation. We have decided to expand the annual quota of the Great Wall Fellowship, a program in which China provides scholarships to the African and other developing countries through the UNESCO, from 25 to 75 so as to support the capacity building of the African teachers.

Bokova thanked China for its long-term support to the UNESCO, and believed that President Xi Jinping’s visit will effectively push forward the bilateral cooperation for more outcomes.

Peng Liyuan, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present.

In the morning of the day, President Xi Jinping’s wife Mme. Peng Liyuan accepted the honorary designation of “Special Envoy for the Promotion of Education for Girls and Women” conferred by the UNESCO at its headquarters.

Peng Liyuan received the Certificate of the Special Envoy from Director-General Bokova. In her address, Peng Liyuan said that it is a great cause to provide women and girls access to education. China has basically eliminated illiteracy among adult women, and public undertakings such as the Spring Bud Project and Hope Project have helped millions of girl dropouts return to school. At present, gender inequality remains a deep-rooted problem around the world, with females being the majority of the disadvantaged groups. Peng Liyuan said, I will do my utmost to help more children, campaign for the rights to education for more fellow sisters, and contribute my efforts to help them change their lives.

Bokova thanked Peng Liyuan for accepting the honorary designation, and praised her for her commitment to public undertakings to help women and children and for the confidence and inspiration she has brought to other people. Bokova expressed her expectation for bilateral cooperation.

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