24.10.2012 - ODG

Irina Bokova joins the Ministers of Culture of South Eastern Europe to strengthen regional cooperation for development through the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage

© Maria Arangelova

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will attend in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Eighth Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe, at the invitation of the Minister of Culture of Bulgaria Vezhdi Letif Rashidov.

The Conference, held under the theme “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”, and jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and UNESCO, will bring together representatives from ministries of culture from the following 13 countries -- Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey.

The Conference will address national policies and measures to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage in the subregion and explore avenues to strengthen cooperation by enhancing cultural heritage as a driver for intercultural dialogue and sustainable development.

“We need to harness the power of intangible heritage for reconciliation, social cohesion and a culture of peace,” said the Director-General.

The Conference will also build on the work of the first regional centre for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, established in Sofia under the auspices of UNESCO, to strengthen of integrated policies in the field of such heritage, develop institutional capacities of South-Eastern European countries in the safeguarding of their intangible cultural heritage, and enhance the sharing of knowledge and best practices.

“This meeting is an opportunity to promote culture as a wellspring of innovation and creativity and beyond, as an important contribution to shaping the post 2015 UN development agenda”.

The Conference seeks to reinforce regional cooperation, including safeguarding elements of intangible cultural heritage that are shared by more countries and/or local communities in the region. 

While in Sofia, the Director-General is expected to meet the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev and the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nickolay Mladenov.  


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