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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Paris, France, 14 December 2010 - Secretary-General's video message on the 65th Anniversary of UNESCO

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Your Excellency Amadou Mahtar M'Bow,

Your Excellency Federico Mayor, Your Excellency Koïchiro Matsuura, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure to congratulate UNESCO on the Organization's 65th anniversary.

I offer special greetings to the Director-General and her predecessors who are joining this celebration.

For 65 years, UNESCO has worked to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women.

It has promoted education for all, safeguarded cultural expression and supported cultural diversity.

It has worked to harness science for the greater good, and to advance freedom of information and access to knowledge.

UNESCO also builds the defenses of peace in the hearts of men and women by reminding us of the dignity and human rights that we all share.

Hearts and minds – this is the passion that has always driven the Organization.

UNESCO's mandate is as relevant as ever.

The Organization's ability to broker new ideas? to bring the right people together? to mobilize political will? to explore thorny questions? to set standards? and to build capacity – these are vital today and for the century ahead.

I thank UNESCO for its vision and its achievements.

I thank UNESCO staff for their dedication and hard work.

And I thank all Member States for their continuing commitment to the ambitions that animate this great Organization.

The House of UNESCO is a place. But it is also an idea that lies at the heart of our quest for a better world.

I look forward to even closer cooperation and even greater achievements in the period ahead.

Happy birthday!

Statements on 14 December 2010