07.06.2011 - UNESCOVENICE PRESS 07-06-2011

Heritage and dialogue in South-Eastern Europe : new avenues for cooperation

© UNESCO/L. Santato -6th Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe. Cetinje, Montenegro

The Seventh Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe, will be held on 10 June 2011, in Belgrade, organised by the Serbian Ministry of Culture, Media and Information Society, with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office. Conference participants will be coming from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as from Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Turkey. Participants are expected to be represented by their Ministers responsible for culture and cultural heritage. The Assistant Director General for Culture of UNESCO, Mr. Francesco Bandarin, will also participate the meeting.

UNESCO Venice Media Advisory N°2011-05 : The event is the continuation of the regional cooperation initiative "Cultural Heritage - a Bridge Towards a Shared Future", launched in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 19 July 2004 during the celebrations of the opening of the Old Bridge of Mostar, destroyed during the war in 1993. The second Ministerial Conference was hosted by the Italian Government in Venice, on 24-26 November 2005, followed by Conferences in Ohrid (2006), Zadar (2007), Bucharest (2008) and Cetinje (2010). All editions of the Ministerial Conferences were organized by the national governments with the collaboration of UNESCO.

More information on previous Ministerial Conferences are available at: http://www.see-heritage.org/ministerial_conferences.htm

The Belgrade Conference, intended as the main regional forum for the development of cultural cooperation, will be convened at Sava Centre. The morning session will analyse progress achieved so far with the implementation of the Cetinje Action Plan adopted in 2010, focusing on the following challenges: the promotion of cultural and cultural heritage at national and regional levels; the realization of joint capacity-building activities and the exchange of good practices; the development of regional centers of excellence for the safeguarding of cultural heritage; the creation of regional networks of experts and trans-national cooperation.

The afternoon will be the starting point for discussing a new initiative on “Heritage and Dialogue” proposed by the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova. The round table, introduced by Mr. Francesco Bandarin will include also the presentation of a film produced by UNESCO on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural heritage in South – Eastern Europe.

On 10 June 2011 at 10.00 a press conference is scheduled at 17:00.

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