UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova visit to Nepal

Apr 19, 2016 - UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova headed back to France on Tuesday concluding her three-day Nepal visit.

She visited Lumbini—the birthplace of Lord Buddha today where she observed Mayadevi Temple and historic Tilaurakot. Bokova opined that the ongoing work of excavation in Tilaurakot will explore more details on this historic place. The excavation work is being carried out in Tilaurakot with the assistance of UNESCO.

Speaking at a press conference at Hotel Yak and Yeti in Kathmandu prior to her departure today, Bokova praised Nepal's hard work for enrolling maximum number of girl children to schools. She also hailed Nepal's achievement on the millennium development goals and its commitment for the vision 2030.

She expressed her belief that Nepal will soon finish authentic assessment of destroyed cultural heritage sites and will reconstruct them very soon.
Speaking in the press conference, Bokova said, "Lumbini is very important from historic and religious aspects." She also said that culture and development should go ahead simultaneously. "To invest in culture is to invest in development. It helps in accomplishing prosperity," Bokova said.

Bokova said UNESCO will continue to gather support from donor agencies in order to rebuild heritage sites in Nepal. She expressed hope that Japan will continue its support to rebuild Nepal's heritage sites as it has promised.

Also present in the press conference, UNESCO Nepal representative Christian Manhart said that delay in reconstruction works on the heritage sites is due to the need to identify original structure of sites and materials used on them. 

Bokova, who arrived Nepal on Sunday, lunched a joint programme of UNESCO, UNFPA and UN Women about girl education on Monday. She also visited community learning center in Pharping which is run by local people with the support from UNESCO and observed reconstruction progress in Basantapur.

- Bijay Timalsina, Kathmandu, Kathmandu post .