The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the attacks, unprecedented in the history of France, perpetrated in Paris on 13 November.

Ms Bokova said, “On behalf of UNESCO and in my own name, I present my most heartfelt condolences to the people of France and to all the mourning families so terribly bereft by these barbaric acts. This crime affects us all. It represents an attack against the whole of humanity.”

“Less than one year after the violent attacks in Paris in January and following several recent attacks in many parts of the world, violent extremists have struck at the core of togetherness, hitting places of conviviality that bring people together, cafés, a stadium and a venue dedicated to live performances, places of culture in a city that is seen throughout the world as a symbol of culture.”

“At a time when UNESCO and the United Nations, founded in the aftermath of World War II, celebrate their 70th anniversary, this crime reveals new and horrible forms of a violence that knows no borders and can strike anywhere. This resurgence of hate calls for a new response based on great unity to reinforce our affirmation of the values of peace, dialogue and compassion, and to stand up to barbarism.

UNESCO will do all it can to support France, our host country, in this ordeal.”