Officials and ambassadors of member states to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday commended China's role since the restoration of its lawful seat 50 years ago in the United Nations.
China's achievements "can only be described as a historic breakthrough with deep and strong implications for the whole world," said Altay Cengizer, President of the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference, adding that China has alleviated extreme poverty and greatly raised people's living standards.
He made the remarks while addressing the reception held by China's permanent delegation to UNESCO marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations.
For his part, Agapito Mba Mokuy, chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, said that UNESCO is the first specialized agency of the UN system to recognize the government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China to UNESCO 50 years ago.
He said that the international community can "enumerate countless areas" where China works "closely and effectively" with the United Nations and with UNESCO.
Hailing China as "one of the pillars" of UNESCO, Mba Mokuy stressed the constructive role China played during Executive Board sessions.
"China is a special and highly valued ally of UNESCO thanks to your support and involvement in a number of different activities of UNESCO in all domains," Firmin Matoko, assistant director-general of the Africa department of UNESCO, on behalf of UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, told China's permanent delegation to UNESCO.
UNESCO is "very grateful" to China for the importance it has given to the protection and promotion of world heritage sites, he said, adding that China has also played a key role in strengthening South-South cooperation at UNESCO.
Ethiopian Ambassador to France Henok Teferra Shawl said that his country appreciates China's strong commitment to African countries in terms of education, science and culture within the UNESCO .
Tebogo Seokolo, South Africa's Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, said that over the last 50 years, China has made positive contributions to implementing the principles that UNESCO stands for. "China has been exemplary in doing so."