16.05.2012 - UNESCO Venice Office/UNESCO Culture Section - Intangible Heritage

Enhancing a shared vision of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South East Europe. Adoption of a Joint Declaration

© Museum of Greek Folk Art - Shadow Theatre

Experts on intangible cultural heritage from the region adopted a Declaration at the end of the Sixth regional seminar of the South-East European Experts Network on Intangible Cultural Heritage (Athens, 10-11 May 2012), organized by the UNESCO Venice Office and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Hellenic National Commission of UNESCO, within the framework of the UNESCO's new global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”. This regional meeting has been an opportunity to present and discuss the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention and national measures for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage; it has also allowed for a presentation of best practices in the promotion of shared heritage and for discussion of future joint activities in the area of training and capacity-building.

24 participants, among which experts from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey, discussed topics and challenges of common interest, and made recommendations for future action.

The Declaration adopted by the participants, among other issues, puts the emphasis on : Youth, Networking and Cooperation, Culture and Development.  Experts also discussed various proposals for cooperation to be jointly organized with the Sofia-based Category II Regional Center on intangible cultural heritage.

The participants undertook to transmit through their governments the recommendations of the meeting to the Forum of the Heads of State of South-East Europe (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2-3 June 2012) as well as to the next conference of the Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe (Sofia, Bulgaria.10-11 September 2012), and invite them to take the necessary measures for their implementation, so that  intangible cultural heritage becomes an ever more effective instrument of intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and sustainable development in the region.

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