Sarajevo conference showcases the importance of improving intercultural dialogue, restoring symbols of multiculturalism and fostering intercultural education
The Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Nations Programme on "Culture for Development" convened on past 16 January in Sarajevo a conference titled “Interculturalism and Intercultural Education” - focused on the importance of improving intercultural dialogue, the rehabilitation of the symbols of multiculturalism and the significance of intercultural education as a model of inclusive education. The event gathered over 110 representatives of designated cultural, education institutions and administrations from all levels of authority countrywide.
"In the global context of diversified cultures, education should provide and foster knowledge about and respect for differences. All actors involved in education: teachers and learners, curriculum developers, policy makers and community members invest their cultural perspectives into what is taught. In that process each of them should constantly be aware of the fact that next to them there are different cultural perspectives than their own. By acting in such a manner, we will all contribute to making the world and our communities better and more inclusive." said Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator.
Along with the focus on the development of culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Programme supported the rehabilitation of three symbols of multiculturalism: the Orthodox Church in Mostar, the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka, and the Monastery in Plehan near Derventa.
“Interculturalism is an exceptionally important concept for us today. The past shows that the preservation of culture is a key to democratic society. We cannot speak of reforms without speaking of education on intercultural understanding“, said Minister Nović. He added that the Culture for Development Programme jointly implemented by UNESCO, UNDP and UNICEF produced excellent results.
Audience was also addressed by Salmir Kaplan, Federal Minister of Education and Sports and Irena Soldat-Vujanović, Deputy Minister of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska, who emphasized the importance of intercultural dialogue and continued activities in this field.
The Programme Culture for Development is a three-year programme funded by the Spanish Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund which is being implemented in partnership of three UN Agencies: UNESCO, UNDP, and UNICEF, in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, Ministry of Culture and Sports of FBiH, Ministry of Education and Culture of RS, as well as other institutions working in the area of education and culture.
Photos : © UN Bosnia and Herzegovina