The third Gundi Shapur International Congress opened with messages from the President of Islamic Republic of Iran and the Director General of UNESCO

On Thursday 9 March 2021, the 3th International Gondi Shapur Congress took place virtually in Tehran, to commemorate the 1750th anniversary of the University. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran and was attended by International and national senior officials, academics and researches, as well as by representatives of the UNESCO Tehran Office, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, as well as by the Ambassador of Iran to UNECO.

H.E. Dr. Mansour Golami, Minister of Science, Research and Technology of Iran, opened the event by delivering the message of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Hassan Rouhani. The message highlighted the scientific and cultural linkages as the most enduring and lasting connections between nations and as common result of centuries of human coexistence and the flourishing of civilizations. Hence, the wider the scope of scientific and cultural relations, the deeper the friendships and empathies between nations.

Emphasizing the importance of the cooperation between Iran and UNESCO, in his message President Rouhani stated: “I appreciate the responsible and wise leadership of Dr. Audrey Azoulay in UNESCO and I hope that a good platform will be provided for the revival of the world’s oldest university, Gundi-Shapur, because this heritage belongs to all humanity and we are all responsible for its protection.”


Dr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, transmitted the greetings of the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Audrey Azoulay and delivered her message to the Conference.

The message started with the very first line of UNESCO’s Constitution: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” This fundamental principle echoes the motto inscribed at the entrance of the University of Gundi-Shapur in Iran, 1,750 years ago: “Science and knowledge, virtue and wisdom, are more important than force and sword.”

The message further elaborated the UNESCO’s belief in the potential of science, provided that it evolves within an ethical and humanistic framework. As we face a new period of uncertainty, it is more necessary than ever to recall this ideal of cooperation and solidarity.

The message reconfirmed that UNESCO stands ready to support the Islamic Republic of Iran in its efforts to promote science and technology, to create knowledge, and to share it, so that the cooperation between Iran and UNESCO would not only support scientific progress, but also the progress of all mankind.

The Academy of Gundi-Shapur, also known as the Gundi-Shapur University, was one of the most significant centers of education and academy of learning in the city of Gund-Shapur during late antiquity, the intellectual center of the Sasanian Empire. It offered education and training in medicine, philosophy, theology and science. The faculty were versed in Persian traditions. According to The Cambridge History of Iran, it was the most important medical center of the ancient world during the 6th and 7th centuries.


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