Within her visit to participate in Sergey Parajanov’s jubilee events held at UNESCO Headquarters, RA ESCS Minister Zhanna Andreasyan had meetings with UNESCO Assistant Directors-General for Education, Culture, Social and Human Sciences Stefania Giannini, Ernesto Ottone and Gabriela Ramos.

RA ESCS Deputy Minister Arthur Maritirosyan and Head of the Department for Modern Art Svetlana Sahakyan attended the meetings.

During the meeting with UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Ernesto Ottone, a variety of topics were discussed, including historical and cultural heritage, preservation of intangible heritage, and promotion of cultural diversity.

In this context, the destruction of Armenian historical and cultural monuments and the preservation of intangible cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh were discussed, emphasizing the significance of realizing the fundamental rights of our compatriots in Nagorno-Karabakh, in particular, to culture. Minister Zhanna Andreasyan stressed that about 5,000 Armenian immovable historical-cultural monuments are endangered in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ernesto Ottone thanked Armenia for its active participation and support in UNESCO's endeavours, noting that Armenia is a leader in the region in terms of research, participation in technical missions and preservation of post-conflict cultural heritage.

Minister Zhanna Andreasyan expressed her gratitude to UNESCO for granting enhanced protection status to the monument “Tatev and the Great Desert of Tatev Monastery Complexes and the Vorotan River Gorge”. Furthermore, the Minister reported that within the framework of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” program, the visit of Matenadaran specialists to the Center for Digitization of Oriental Manuscripts in Erbil concluded in March, noting that the Armenian side attaches importance and encourages the involvement of Matenadaran in UNESCO programs.

The Minister also highlighted the significance of further development of cooperation within the scope of the convention “On the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”. In this respect, the Minister stated that a concert honouring the French chansonnier of Armenian origin and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Charles Aznavour will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters in 2025, and in September an international conference on the implementation of the Convention will be held in Armenia.

At the end of the meeting, the ESCS Minister thanked Ernesto Ottone for organizing commemorative events dedicated to Parajanov at UNESCO Headquarters and participating in them.

On the same day, the RSCS Minister met with UNESCO Assistant Director-General Stefania Giannini. The discussions focused on UNESCO chairs operating in Armenia, a new education model in culture and art, Abu Dhabi solutions, and the “School Meals” program.

Thankful for the meeting, Zhanna Andreasyan reported on the results of the fact-finding mission's visit to Armenia in October 2023, including the organization of a training program for education specialists forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh. The Minister underlined the significance of the “School Meals” program sparking intense interest among international partners.

Stefania Giannini emphasized that the School Meals program is extremely important, since refugees and forcibly displaced children, in particular, require special care and support. During the discussion, Armenia's commitment to the advancement of the vector of cultural education was also underlined.

Regarding education, the ESCS Minister highlighted Armenia's numerous successful education programs and initiatives, particularly in inclusive education, and proposed exchanging experiences.

Zhanna Andreasyan also emphasized the significance of maintaining “peace education” across the region, especially crucial for Armenia, highlighting the significance of UNESCO's support in this regard.

Shortly afterwards, the Minister had a meeting with UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Gabriela Ramos.

Thankful for the meeting, Zhanna Andreasyan noted that Armenia is actively involved in the work of UNESCO conventions related to culture and education. In addition, she emphasized the significance of sectoral collaboration on youth issues underlining the willingness of the Armenian side.

Gabriela Ramos provided information about UNESCO's programs, presenting UNESCO's policy on youth and combating racial discrimination.

Zhanna Andreasyan, in turn, said that a draft law “On Youth Policy” is currently being developed in Armenia, on which they expect to receive an expert opinion from UNESCO.

“We are also interested in developing collaboration in the fight against discrimination and racism, since Armenia advocates for “peace education” throughout the region, and tries to promote this concept,” said ESCS Minister Zhanna Andreasyan.

Gabriela Ramos stressed that UNESCO attaches priority to the implementation of intercultural youth programs in the implementation of youth policy, and Armenia's experience is very interesting in this regard.

During the meeting, the parties also discussed other issues of mutual interest.