The Director-General is visiting Mali today with French President François Hollande, with the goal to launch the assessment of the state of Mali’s cultural heritage and manuscripts after the recent fighting and tensions and to define a plan of action with the Government of Mali that will guide UNESCO’s support to its reconstruction and safeguarding.

Irina Bokova will be meeting with the Malian authorities in Bamako and in Timbuktu to kick-start a UNESCO programme of assistance to rebuild Mali’s cultural heritage and to safeguard its documentary heritage.

“At this moment, we must act quickly to safeguard and rebuild this country’s outstanding cultural heritage – this is essential for national unity and reconciliation. This heritage is a source of strength and confidence for the people of Mali as they consolidate the foundations of peace,” said the Director-General.