21 March 2012

Address by Ms Eleonora Mitrofanova, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation, Chairperson of UNESCO World Heritage Committee at the concert “Northern Lights over Paris”

Mr. Assistant Director-General, Mrs. President of the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Ministers – members of the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to welcome all of you at the ceremony on the occasion of the Day of Saha/Yakutia at UNESCO Headquarters. The Russian Federation has 83 regions and Sakha/Yakutia is the biggest region of our country. In addition to that, this beautiful land has no analogues all over the world due to its natural resources and geographical situation. Over 40 % of the Republic is above the Polar Circle. Within its limits are 3 time zones. Sakha/Yakutia is also the coldest region of our planet. This remarkable land is rich with natural resources - on its territory you can find almost all elements of the chemical periodic table. This region is the richest diamonds source of Russia. As you could imagine, this fact is of particular interest for many tourists, visiting our country. But the most important thing is that here live the persistent people who managed to organize their life and work in extreme conditions of the North. Sakha/Yakutia is also the multi-religious and multicultural land. That’s why UNESCO’s programmes related to tolerance, culture of peace, linguistic diversity and others are very actively carried out there. Sakha/Yakutia closely cooperates with UNESCO for many years. In a number of areas we have something to be proud of and demonstrate best practices. We have always considered the Russian multi-ethnic culture as part of a world civilization and culture. And from this point of view, today’s event is particularly important not only for Russia, but for the whole UNESCO family. I do hope that today’s concert of brilliant artists, representing the ancient and modern cultures of this vast region of Sakha/Yakutia, will become a significant event in the cultural life of UNESCO and one of the brilliant elements of the Russian multi-ethic presence in this Organization. I’m sure you will appreciate the inexpressible national colour of Sakha/Yakutia, their people’s respect for the history, traditions, folklore, and charming atmosphere of this original and beautiful region of the Russian North. In conclusion, I would like to thank all those who participated in the preparation of today’s concert and other events as part of Yakutia’s Day at UNESCO. Thank you for you attention and enjoy this wonderful evening.