On February 2, 2013, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova paid a visit to Mali.
According to UNESCO, the purpose of the visit was to begin the assessment of the state of the cultural heritage and manuscripts in Mali after destruction caused by the recent fighting. Bokova hopes to develop a plan of action in tandem with the Mali Government that will allow UNESCO to support Mali in its efforts to reconstruct and safeguard it’s extraordinary cultural heritage.
During her trip, Bokova will meet with Malian authorities in Bamako, as well as Timbuktu. Of the current state of Mali’s cultural heritage, Bokova stated, “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.”