Intangible Heritage in South-East Europe as a bridge for sustainable development
The Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office, is convening on 25 October 2012 in Sofia the 8th Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe. The event will be opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the Minister of Culture of Bulgaria, Vezhdi Letif Rashidov.
Within the framework of UNESCO’s global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, and following the recent inauguration, in February 2012, of the Sofia Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe, placed under the auspices of UNESCO, the main theme proposed for this ministerial conference is “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”.
Ministries of culture from 13 countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey) will gather to present the respective policies and measures to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage in their respective countries, and to enhance this heritage as a driver for intercultural dialogue and sustainable development.
The conference has the objective to reinforce regional cooperation on capacity-building and the exchange of knowledge and good practices, as well as on the safeguarding of the elements of intangible cultural heritage that are shared by more countries and/or local communities in the region.
In addition, the conference will offer the opportunity to discuss on the way to streamline the different cultural cooperation platforms at the ministerial level existing in the South-East European region, in order to improve their coordination and to devise possible forms of convergence. This theme is proposed as main focus for the meeting of the International Working Group, convened on 24 October and formed by experts in representation of the participating ministries of culture.
This conference will be a new opportunity to reaffirm the importance of culture for development and its contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and serve to prepare the forthcoming ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, which will focus in 2013 on “Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals”.