UNESCO Director-General takes part in the South-East Europe Summit in Istanbul
The President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, in collaboration with the Secretary-General of the European Council Thorbjorn Jagland, are organizing the 8th Summit of the Heads of State of South East European countries on June 23rd in Istanbul (Turkey). The Heads of State, or their representatives, from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Moldavia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia will attend the meeting, of which the theme is “Music as metaphor of cultural dialogue”. The Director-General will also participate in the South-East European Cooperation Process organized in parallel by Turkey.
A meeting of experts from all the countries of the region will precede the meeting on “Music as metaphor of cultural dialogue” and finalize the Istanbul Declaration that will be approved by the Heads of States and Governments. These experts will focus on the role of music as a vehicle for peace and as a key element of region’s intangible heritage, testifying to the wealth of cultural diversity and mutual influences in the region.
The main goal of the Summit is to reinforce the critical role of culture as the cornerstone of mutual understanding in the region. Taking place in Istanbul, the 2010 European Capital of Culture, the Summit also comes under the aegis of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, and led by UNESCO.
This will be the 8th Summit of the Heads of State of South East European countries organized with UNESCO. The previous summits took place in Ohrid (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 2003), in Tirana (Albania, 2004), in Varna (Bulgaria, 2005), Opatija (Croatia, 2006), Bucarest and Sibiu (Romania, 2007), Athens (Greece, 2008) and in Cetinje (Montenegro, 2009), Athens (Greece, 2008), and Cetinje (Montenegro, 2009).