15.12.2016 - UNESCO Office in Hanoi

International Conference "Cultural resources for sustainable development: Theories, Practices and Policy Solutions"


Ha Noi, 13 - 14 December 2016 – In collaboration with the Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH, Vietnam National University), the Vietnamese Association of Ethnology and Anthropology, Institute of Anthropology, Institute of Cultural Studies and Museum of Nguyen Van Huyen, UNESCO Office in Viet Nam co-hosted the international conference on “Cultural Resources for Sustainable Development: Theories, Practices and Policy Solutions”.

With the aim to open a platform for discussion on multifaceted culture as a substantial resource for sustainable development, the conference witnessed the attendance of more than 80 participants, including national and international scholars, researchers and guests, and more than 100 ethnic minority representatives from across the country. The conference was hosted at the campus of the Ha Noi University of Social Sciences and Humanities, where two Photovoice exhibitions conducted by ethnic minority groups were displayed in conjunction of the event.

With 30 presentations, selected from more 71 paper submissions by researchers and policy makers from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Taiwan, United States and Viet Nam, the conference discussed five topic panels: (i) Cultural heritages in sustainable development; (ii) Rituals, beliefs and traditional festivals in sustainable development; (iii) Traditional cultural institutions and sustainable development; (iv) Cultural capital, cultural tourism and sustainable development; and (v) Cultural policies.

A Plenary Opening Session featured keynotes by senior guest scholars on Vietnamese studies, namely Professor Luong Van Hy from the University of Toronto, Canada and Professor Oscar Salemink from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Over the one-and-half-day conference, discussions generated various empirical evidences pinpointing advantages and challenges in the identification and exploitation of cultural resources, as well as relevant measures and approaches pertaining to the development context of the country. Key issues highlighted through the presentations included the participatory rights of communities and groups and individuals as beneficiaries of development interventions. It was also recommended by the keynote speakers that these topics be further addressed in the near future in order to cope with the development pace of the culture sector.

Addressing the conference, Ms. Susan Vize, Representative and Head of the UNESCO Office in Viet Nam a.i. reiterated the three important dimensions of culture’s contribution in sustainable development, as emphasized in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 68/223 in 2013 on Culture and Sustainable Development:  inclusive economic development, inclusive social development for all and environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, Ms. Vize stressed the important role of culture across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, especially those that focus on quality education, sustainable cities, the environment, economic growth, decent employment, sustainable consumption and production patterns, peaceful and inclusive societies, gender equality and food security.

Concluding the conference, Prof. Nguyễn Văn Kim, USSH Vice Rector, acknowledged the contributions of the conference in capitalizing on the multiple perspectives of culture as a development enabler in both theory, practice and policy solutions. He also added that the conference has linked anthropologists and cultural researchers with policy makers and members of different Vietnamese cultures.


For further information please contact Mr. Nguyen Duc Tang, National Programme Officer in Culture, UNESCO Ha Noi Office, at nd.tang(at)unesco.org

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