The first woman to lead UNESCO discusses the importance of heritage in the modern world
Irina Bokova is a Bulgarian politician and former Director-General of UNESCO (2009 to 2017). She was the first woman and the first Eastern European to lead the organisation. During her political and diplomatic career in Bulgaria, she was twice elected as a Member of the National Parliament and served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She also served as Bulgaria's Ambassador to France and to Monaco, and was Bulgaria's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. At UNESCO, Director-General Bokova advocated for gender equality, improved education and preventing funding for terrorism, especially by enforcing the protection of intellectual goods. She was particularly active in defence of cultural heritage in conflict in Mali, Syria and Iraq and in denouncing extremists’ destruction of heritage as a tool of war.
Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies in collaboration with Benjamin Franklin House.
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