Speaking to the UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, President Rouhani said the world today is in need of peace and stability.
He said, “The first and the most important step in the campaign against violence, extremism and terrorism is a cultural move and the UNESCO can play a valuable role in this concern,” Rouhani told the UNESCO chief.
He said the overwhelming vote of the UN General Assembly members to Iranˈs proposal on establishment of a world free from violence and extremism results from other countries’ need for the approach.
He added, “The UNESCO should be more active and through media cooperation with many countries and promoting the culture of dialogue and moderation, it should pave the way for establishment of the violence-free world.”
The president voiced happiness with presence of a Palestinian envoy in the UNESCO Board and said it is a move in line with peace.
He said ˈThe Middle East has over recent years been suffering from violence, extremism and terrorism and we need to restore peace and stability to the region through mutual cooperation.ˈ
The President referred to efforts by certain powers to distort cultural identity of nations and said efforts for domination of western culture over other countries is a wrong mentality because culture and identity of nations give way to stability of countries on the one hand and on the other consolidate social and family relationship.
He added, “The big powers managed to some extent to take initial steps towards destruction of national culture of countries; however, the reality is that they cannot replace it with their own culture and the UNESCO has the duty to defend independent cultures and identities.”
He also referred to problems facing the developing states in the field of science and said, “Unfortunately, in today’s world we are witnessing a sort of scientific apartheid and countries possessing sophisticated technology are not ready to transfer their technological know-how to other countries.
He said Iran is also ready for more extensive cooperation with the UNESCO. “Tehran is ready to have close interactions with the UNESCO in campaign against cultural poverty and promotion of education.”
He said the UNESCO Chief’s visit to Iran is harbinger of stronger cooperation between the international body and Iran in scientific and cultural domains.
Bokova said, for her part, that the Iranian president’s proposal to to the UN General Assembly was highly valuable and fully consistent with the charter and goals of the UNESCO.
She also referred to the UNESCO’s heavy responsibility for cultural interactions among nations.
“We also agree with Iranian president’s idea that degradation of national cultures of nations leads to tension.”
She said the UNESCO is confronting extremism and violence in the world, as a big threat to human beings, trying to define the importance and value of dialogue and peaceful co-existence to world nations based on a global program.
She praised Iran’s success in educating young generation, especially girls, and said the UNESCO welcomes links with Iranian scientific centers, and to this end has extended extensive support to a scientific center in Isfahan.
Bokova added that the UNESCO will strive for South-South cooperation and opening ways for cooperation between North and South states, believing that the youth should be provided with an opportunity to safeguard and preserve cultural and scientific progress of the developing states.
She voiced happiness with her visits to Bam, Isfahan and Shiraz and acquaintance with rich culture of Islamic Iran and said at a time when majority of the world peoples are in darkness and ignorance, Iranian engineers and thinkers in light of their exceptional intellect have created works highly appreciated by other nations.
She also appreciated the Iranian president’s choice of appointing a well-educated and efficient ambassador to the UNESCO.