World leaders and renowned artists celebrate UNESCO at 75
26 heads of state and government and an impressive list of artists, singers and musicians from around the world celebrated UNESCO's 75th anniversary at a special ceremony on the 12th of November. The proceedings were opened by UNESCO's Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker. (Watch the VOD)
Each world leader addressed the ceremony and their speeches were interspersed by a series of artistic performances by international singers and musicians.
- His Excellency Mr. Xavier Espot Zamora, Head of Government of Andorra
- Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
- His Excellency Mr. Zeljko Komsic, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- His Excellency Mr. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana
- His Excellency Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso
- His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
- His Excellency Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus
- His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d'Ivoire
- His Excellency Mr. Jean Castex, Prime Minister of France
- His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of Egypt
- His Excellency Mr. Pedro Sanchez, President of the Government of Spain
- His Excellency Mr. Alar Karis, President of Estonia
- His Excellency Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon
- Her Excellency Ms. Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia
- His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
- His Excellency Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
- His Excellency Mr. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of Guinea-Bissau
- His Excellency Mr Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland
- His Excellency Mr George Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia
- Her Excellency Ms Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova
- His Excellency Mr Hage Geingob, President of Namibia
- His Excellency Mr Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria
- Her Excellency Ms Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia
- His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, President of Slovenia
- His Excellency Mr Ignazio Cassis, Vice President of the Swiss Confederation
- Her Excellency Ms Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Tunisia
The performance of Afghan singer and women’s rights activist Aryana Sayeed, who recently fled Afghanistan, is likely to be a poignant moment.
The Arab, Latin, Balkanic, Indian and Jazz influences of the group, Joussour, will ring out at the event at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.
Other highlights of the event include the Egyptian-born opera singer Farrah El Dibany and the Palestinian musician, Issa Murad who plays a stringed instrument known as the oud.
Renaud Capuçon, one of the world's greatest violinists, and Farrah El Dibany, an Egyptian-born opera singer, took the stage. So did the fabulous duo Ray Lema & Laurent de Wilde, who combine jazz, classical and African music, and the group Joussour, whose Arab, Latin, Balkan, Indian and jazz influences resonated at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris for this special concert.
Other highlights included a moving performance by Aryana Sayeed, an Afghan singer and women's rights activist who recently fled her country, and an outstanding performance by four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo from Benin.
At the close of the ceremony, the nearby Eiffel Tower was illuminated with the UNESCO logo.