On 31 March 2014 in the Coat of Arms Hall at the Presidency in Sofia the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, handed a state Order of the Balkan Mountains with ribbon to Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The award was presented to Ms. Bokova for her exceptionally large contribution to Bulgaria for the development of political and cultural contacts at the highest level, strengthening of peace and security in the world by fostering cooperation between nations in the fields of education, science and culture.
The award ceremony was attended by Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation – the only Bulgarian non-governmental organization in official partnership with UNESCO. The event was attended by officials, representatives of the National Assembly and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria, prominent cultural figures and intellectuals.
Ms. Bokova expressed her gratitude to all the institutions that had twice raised her candidacy and worked on her election as Director General of UNESCO. She pointed out that Bulgaria has many cultural heritage sites to be included in the list of UNESCO.