UNESCO designates Canadian Governor-General as Special Envoy for Haiti

22 June 2010

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today that it is designating Canada’s Governor-General Michaëlle Jean to be the agency’s Special Envoy for Haiti, the country where she was born but later left as a child refugee.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today that it is designating Canada’s Governor-General Michaëlle Jean to be the agency’s Special Envoy for Haiti, the country where she was born but later left as a child refugee.

Ms. Jean will take up her new post when her term as Governor-General ends later this year, UNESCO said in a press statement issued from its headquarters in Paris.

A former radio journalist and long-time human rights advocate, Ms. Jean travelled with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova to the World Heritage-listed site of Jacmel in southern Haiti in March this year, two months after a catastrophic earthquake pummelled the country and killed an estimated 200,000 people. Many heritage sites were damaged or destroyed.

Ms. Bokova paid tribute today to Ms. Jean’s “unwavering commitment” to gender equality, press freedom, the role of education in economic development and democracy, and greater dialogue and solidarity between different communities.

“I am delighted that Michaëlle Jean’s wealth of experience, dynamism and dedication will contribute to achieving UNESCO’s goals, especially in Haiti, the country of her birth and where the Organization is working with national authorities on education, culture, science and media projects – all of which will serve as pillars for the country’s reconstruction,” she said.

 

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