Cetinje Declaration and Cetinje Action Plan reinforce regional cooperation for cultural heritage in SEE
Ministers of Culture and representatives of 10 countries, convened in Cetinje, Montenegro, on 23 April 2010 for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe, approved strategic documents for strengthening regional cooperation on the safeguarding and promotion of the shared cultural heritage as a tool for dialogue, integration and sustainable development.
On 23 April 2010 the Ministers of culture and their representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia gathered in Cetinje for the sixth Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe.
The event, organized by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro with the support of the UNESCO Office in Venice was part of the regional initiative "Cultural Heritage - a Bridge Towards a Shared Future", launched with the First Ministerial Conference held in Mostar on 2004 and followed by the Conferences in Venice (2005), Ohrid (2006), Zadar (2007), and Bucharest (2008).
The Conference's main outcome was the approval by participating countries of two strategic documents, the "Cetinje Declaration" and the "Ceinje Action Plan", intended to propose objectives and action lines for the enhancement of regional cooperation on the safeguarding and promotion of the shared cultural heritage as a tool for dialogue, integration and sustainable development.
In particular, the documents approved by the Conference identify common priorities including, among others:
- the reinforcement of culture and cultural heritage as a privileged forum for regional cooperation in SEE;
- the realisation of joint capacity-building activities and the exchange of good practices;
- the development of regional centres of excellence for the safeguarding of cultural heritage;
- the creation of regional networks of experts;
- the definition of multi-national candidatures for inscription into the UNESCO World Heritage List, and Representative List for Intangible Cultural Heritage.
In order to achieve the objectives set forth by the Cetinje Action Plan, the Conference advanced the proposal of establishing a multi-donor Trust Fund for cultural heritage in SEE, to be also participated by the countries from the region. The Action Plan encourages UNESCO, through the Culture Unit of the UNESCO Venice Office, to continue its action as permanent secretariat of the annual ministerial conferences, and coordinator of the related operational follow-up including the management of the Trust Fund.
As a concrete sign of the willingness of the SEE countries to support the annual Ministerial Conferences, intended as the main regional forum for the development of cultural cooperation, the Serbian Minister of culture officially announced that the next Ministerial Conference will be hosted by Serbia in 2011.
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