World leaders and renowned artists celebrate UNESCO at 75

Head of States

26 heads of state and government and an impressive list of artists, singers and musicians from around the world celebrated UNESCO's 75th anniversary at a special ceremony on the 12th of November. The proceedings were opened by UNESCO's Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker. (Watch the VOD)

Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker

Each world leader addressed the ceremony and their speeches were interspersed by a series of artistic performances by international singers and musicians.

The performance of Afghan singer and women’s rights activist Aryana Sayeed, who recently fled Afghanistan, is likely to be a poignant moment.  

One of the world’s leading violinists, Renaud Capuçon and an international prize-winning classical pianist, Guillaume Bellom will also take to the stage. 

The Arab, Latin, Balkanic, Indian and Jazz influences of the group, Joussour, will ring out at the event at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. 

Other highlights of the event include the Egyptian-born opera singer Farrah El Dibany and the Palestinian musician, Issa Murad who plays a stringed instrument known as the oud. 

Artists and musicians from all over the globe
Artists and musicians from all over the globe

Renaud Capuçon, one of the world's greatest violinists, and Farrah El Dibany, an Egyptian-born opera singer, took the stage. So did the fabulous duo Ray Lema & Laurent de Wilde, who combine jazz, classical and African music, and the group Joussour, whose Arab, Latin, Balkan, Indian and jazz influences resonated at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris for this special concert.

Other highlights included a moving performance by Aryana Sayeed, an Afghan singer and women's rights activist who recently fled her country, and an outstanding performance by four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo from Benin.

Chinese pianist Lang Lang, one of the most talented classical musicians of our time, and internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma also took part in the celebration.

At the close of the ceremony, the nearby Eiffel Tower was illuminated with the UNESCO logo.