The Ecuadorian politician and painter Ivonne A-Baki was today appointed as the newest Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with a special focus on promoting greater dialogue between cultures.
Ms. Baki – who was designated as an ambassador during a ceremony at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO by the agency's Director-General, Irina Bokova – will contribute to activities marking the 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, which will be officially launched this Thursday, UNESCO said in a press release.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova – who last year defeated Ms. Baki and seven other candidates for the top post – designated the Ecuadorian as a Goodwill Ambassador at a ceremony today at the agency's headquarters in Paris.
Ms. Baki served as her country's minister of foreign trade between 2003 and 2005, participated in negotiations that led to a peace treaty with neighbouring Peru in 1998 and also served as an Ecuadorian ambassador and consul general in the United States and Lebanon. Fluent in five languages, she is a recognized painter who was artist-in-residence at Harvard University between 1990 and 1998.
UNESCO's roster of Goodwill Ambassadors is chosen to use their talents and fame to spread the message of the agency throughout the world. Other ambassadors include the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Rigoberta Menchú Tum of Guatemala and the Italian actress Claudia Cardinale.