20.09.2008 -

Fifth Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe

The Romanian Ministry for Culture and Religious Affairs has issued official invitations for the 2008 Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe, event organised with the support of the Culture Section of UNESCO Office in Venice (BRESCE) in Bucharest, on 20 September 2008.

webpage : http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=43194&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Participating countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia, together with Italy as main supporter of the initiative. All countries will be represented by respective State Ministers responsible for cultural affairs. UNESCO will be represented by the Assistant Director General for Culture. Representatives of Greece, Slovenia, and Turkey will also participate as observers.

The meeting is the fifth edition of the annual Ministerial Conferences on Cultural Heritage in SEE, under the title “Cultural Heritage – a Bridge towards a Shared Future”, a sub-regional initiative coordinated by UNESCO and supported by the Italian government, with the aim of strengthening cooperation for the protection and promotion of cultural heritage in South-Eastern Europe. Its conceptual foundations lie in considering the heritage as a shared value: a bridge between cultures and communities, as well as from past, to present and to future times. A bridge over which a constructive cooperation shall be undertaken, in order to foster intercultural dialogue, to support human and economic development, and to further regional stabilisation.

The political engine of the initiative consists of the annual Ministerial conferences on cultural heritage in South-Eastern Europe. The conferences are intended to build up a shared commitment to the safeguarding and promotion of regional cultural heritage. They also serve to set common objectives and guidelines for concrete action, in the form of ministerial joint declarations.

Following up to the conferences' indications, the initiative operates through a wide set of activities coordinated by the Culture Section of the UNESCO Office in Venice - Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (BRESCE). Activities are financed through the “Trust Fund for Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe”, created at the UNESCO BRESCE as a follow-up to the first Ministerial Conference (Mostar, 2004), and financed by the Italian government (Italian Development Cooperation - Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Contact for UNESCO: Matteo Rosati Assistant Project Officer

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