07.05.2012 - ODG

Cultural Diversity in the Asia Pacific takes center stage at Dhaka Forum

Promoting cultural diversity across the Asia Pacific will be at the center of the Director-General's first official visit to Bangladesh from 9 to 11 May.

Irina Bokova will address the opening of the Ministerial Forum of the Asia Pacific region, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. This Forum, organized by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh with support from UNESCO's International Fund for Cultural Diversity, aims to encourage further ratification and implementation of the 2005 Convention  on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. To date, only 12 out of 44 Member States in the Asia Pacific Region have become States Parties to the Convention.

"The Dhaka Forum represents a critical first step towards ensuring that the diversity of cultural expressions is shared, produced, transmitted and - most importantly of all - enjoyed - locally regionally and internationally," states the Director-General.

During her visit, the Director-General will give a lecture at the University of Dhaka on tackling climate change and building green societies, an opportunity to present UNESCO's perspective on the Rio+20 Conference. She will discuss the Organization's cooperation with Bangladesh with the Prime Minister and top cabinet officials, and meet with the Founder and Chairperson of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee that has rich experience in non-formal education.

She will also visit the World Heritage Site of Paharpur, where the remains of the most important and largest known Buddhist monastery south of the Himalayas have been excavated.

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