Congolese musician Jean Serge Essous has been designated UNESCO Artist for Peace in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of the ideals of UNESCO through his artistic activities.
The designation was conferred on Essous, a saxophonist, by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura at a ceremony at the organisation's headquarters in Paris today.
Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, on an official visit to UNESCO on the occasion of the 165th session of the Executive Board, attended the ceremony.
Conglese personalities, among them Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Jean-Claude Gakosso, also attended the event, as will Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, who is himself a UNESCO Artist for Peace.
Saxophonist Jean Serge Essous is a cofounder of the band "Bantous de la Capital," in Brazzaville, and of the Afrika Team in Paris.
UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote the organisation's message. Their ranks include actress Patricia Velasquez (Venezuela), musician Gilberto Gil (who is currently Culture Minister of Brazil), composer Missa Johnouchi (Japan), soprano Sumi Jo (Republic of Korea), singer and Gypsy Kings founder Chico Bouchikhi (France), author Navarre Scott Momaday (USA), and conductor Valery Gergiev (Russia).