Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism President Discusses Heritage and Inter-Religious Dialogue with the Director-General
Citing their common interest in promoting solidarity and dialogue between cultures and religions, the Venerable Jaseung, President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova discussed opportunities for further collaboration during a meeting on 30 September 2011.
UNESCO and the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2010 and a funds-in-trust agreement for the rehabilitation of public secondary schools in Haiti. The Director-General expressed thanks for this contribution, which was “highly appreciated by the people of Haiti and UNESCO”.
The Venerable shared his wish to participate in UN activities linked to the preservation of Lumbini (Nepal), the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and his readiness to join a mission with the UN Secretary-General and UNESCO. “Mobilizing the international community around a sacred place like Lumbini will help enormously in its protection and preservation,” said Irina Bokova.
The Venerable explained that Buddhism has been present in Korea uninterruptedly for 1700 years, leaving a rich cultural legacy, both tangible and intangible. The 1,000-year old Koreana Tritipaka collection of Buddhist scriptures, deposited in the Haeinsa Temple Jaggyeong Panjeon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one example. He asked for UNESCO’s support in registering more items on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Expressing appreciation for Korea’s long and rich history, the Director-General stated that it was “not by chance that the country was one of the most active members involved in the preservation of intangible heritage.”
The Venerable also informed the Director-General about progress in the planning of a World Forum on inter-religious dialogue in 2013, an initiative welcomed by Ms Bokova.