Meeting of the Director-General with Aurélie Filippetti, French Minister of Culture and Communication
The Director-General received the Minister of Culture and Communication of the French Republic, Aurélie Filippetti, on Wednesday, 30 January, 2013, to discuss matters relating to cooperation between France and UNESCO.
In view of the latest developments of the situation in Mali, the Director-General reiterated her determination to support the Malian people in rebuilding their heritage, saying that "the rehabilitation of heritage is essential to restore the faith of the Malian people in their future”. The Minister affirmed France's full support in this effort. Aurélie Filippetti also highlighted her commitment to the protection of national cultural heritage by underlining, in particular, her wish to see the provisions of UNESCO’s 1972 Convention on the Protection of the Cultural Heritage incorporated into French law.
“We are at a crucial moment in the history of the Convention, with much debate on the issue of the credibility of the List, whose primary responsibility is not to assign a label but to ensure the effective preservation of sites in the long-term,” said the Director-General.
Aurélie Filippetti underlined that "World Heritage is a long-term process and should not focus on a label -- it is, above all, a component of civic unity,” recalling the importance of art education for intercultural dialogue. The Director-General and the Minister emphasized again the importance of culture for the fight against economic and social inequality.
"Everyone is looking for answers for greater social justice, and one of the answers lies within culture," said Irina Bokova, underlining the key role of cultural industries in developing countries, and recalling the importance of placing culture at the heart of the development agenda beyond 2015. The Minister added that this effort is deeply linked to the protection of cultural diversity.