10.04.2013 - ODG

"Arts education is a driver of innovation for societies," said Irina Bokova at the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe

© UNESCO/Matthieu Guevel -UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, with the President of Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, Slovenia, April 2013.

On the second day of her official visit to Slovenia, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, took part in the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe, organized under the Slovenian Presidency, the Minister of Culture, Uros Grilc, and dedicated to arts education. The Minister referred to UNESCO’s Roadmap for Arts Education, adopted in Lisbon in 2006, as a uniting factor to intensify cooperation in the sub-region.

“The world needs innovation, new ideas, creativity, to lay the foundations of a new development model. Culture is a source of creativity and arts education is a driver of innovation for societies. Arts education is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission, at the crossroads of its mandate for culture and education,” said the Director-General, in the presence of the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou and the Director-General of the Council of Europe Directorate for Democracy, Snezana Samardzic-Markovic.

"Slovenia plays an important role in UNESCO and this role may be even greater, through sharing good practices and knowledge for the management of heritage and biosphere reserves," she said. She also reiterated this message to members of the National Commission for UNESCO.

The Director-General also met with the President of the Republic, Mr. Borut Pathor, where the discussion explored the current situation of UNESCO, the European crisis and how to cope, highlighting the importance of quality education to meet the challenges raised by globalization and the potential of culture as a lever for creativity, innovation and employment.

"We want to change fundamental attitudes about the role and place of culture in our societies: it is not just a pastime for the elite, it is a source of employment, a driver of innovation and a lever for social cohesion especially in multicultural societies," said the Director-General, referring to the international conference organized by UNESCO on culture and sustainable development in Hangzhou, People's Republic of China in May 2013."There is no miracle cure to the crisis, but culture is definitely part of the solution."

The Director-General also met with the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Jernej Pikalo, with whom she discussed the changing educational stakes of today: "In recent years, most efforts of governments have been to improve access to education, today the challenge is to improve the quality of teaching and its relevance as well as the relationship between what is learned on the benches of school and skills required to integrate into society”.

In the margins of the Council of Ministers, the Director-General attended a presentation of the website videolecture.net, the first platform for exchanging educational videos in Slovenia and winner of the WSIS +10 Prize in February 2013 at UNESCO.

Irina Bokova wrapped up her visit with the inauguration of the exhibition dedicated to Codex Suprasliensis at the National Library. This is one of the major liturgical manuscripts in Old Church Slavonic and the main source for studying this language, inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2007.


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