UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay travelled to Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, during her official three-day visit to Russia in March 2019.
Audrey Azule was met at the airport by the state adviser of the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Republican Fund “Revival”, UNESCO Special envoy for intercultural dialogue Mintimer Shaimiev.
The next day, UNESCO Director-General visited the Kazan Kremlin, where she met with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. He thanked Audrey Azule for the attention to the Republic and support of Tatar initiatives and noted that cooperation between Tatarstan and UNESCO is carried out on many issues. Historical monuments are being restored, associated schools and departments of the organization are actively working, a lot of work is being done to preserve and strengthen the dialogue between numerous multireligious and multi-ethnic communities. Large-scale events are often held in Kazan. Among the most important of them are the world’s first Youth model of the UNESCO world heritage Committee and the Kazan forum on intercultural dialogue.
At the meeting, it was also about current projects. Tatarstan President spoke about the preparation of materials for joining Kazan to the UNESCO network of creative cities, the construction of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy and prospects for cooperation with UNESCO within the framework of the strategic vision Group “Russia — Islamic world”.
Audrey Azule noted that UNESCO is interested in cooperation with Tatarstan and added: “We are ready to support the projects mentioned by you in the field of education, the network of creative cities and other initiatives.”
In the Kazan Kremlin, the Director-General of UNESCO got acquainted with the exposition dedicated to the 9-year activity of the Republican Fund “Revival”. Chairman of its Board of Trustees Mintimer Shaimiev told about the results of the complex project “Cultural heritage: island-town of Sviyazhsk and ancient Bulgarians”. He drew Azule’s attention to a new project implemented with the assistance of the Renaissance Foundation. This is the creation of a comprehensive complex consisting of a polylingual school, a kindergarten, a boarding school and a country children’s camp. According to Mintimer Shaimiev, the new school will provide academic knowledge, trilingual training (in Russian, Tatar and English), the formation of a versatile personality with universal values and a tolerant philosophy of life.
Audrey Azule and the President of the Republic of Tatarstan took part in the ceremony of honoring the winners of the Republican contest “Woman of the year. Man of the year: women’s view”. They awarded the winners in the nomination “woman-mother”. Azule noted that she was happy to visit the Republic on the eve of International women’s day, and stressed: “one of the priorities of UNESCO is equality between men and women, so that women can make their choice, decide their fate. We are fighting a battle for quality education for women. I am sure that we can count on Russia and Tatarstan in this regard.”