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SG/SM/21021
12 November 2021

With Storied History, UNESCO Also Forging New Inclusive Social Contract in Today’s Polarized World, Secretary‑General Says on Agency’s Seventy‑Fifth Anniversary

Following is the text of Secretary‑General António Guterres’ video message on the seventy‑fifth anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), today:

UNESCO was born as a pillar of the United Nations system, in the wake of one of the darkest chapters in human history.

For more than 75 years, UNESCO has promoted dialogue and mutual understanding.  World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves, the CERN [European Organization for Nuclear Research] research centre… all emerged at UNESCO.

At a time of great inequalities, environmental crises, polarization and a global pandemic, UNESCO’s role is more critical than ever.

To restore trust and solidarity.  To ensure greater access to education for all, promote cultural diversity and steer technological progress for the greater good.

Working with a diverse set of partners, UNESCO is forging a new social contract for education and lifelong learning.

It is developing new tools to combat hate speech and misinformation.  And it is launching flagship initiatives in Iraq and Lebanon, using education and heritage to heal and rebuild.

Each of these efforts speak to UNESCO’s importance at the centre of a more networked, inclusive and effective multilateralism — one that delivers tangible benefits for people across the world.

I wish you all the very best as you celebrate your seventy‑fifth anniversary.

For information media. Not an official record.