Regional cooperation & Heads of State Summits

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Regional Summit on Inter-religious and Inter-ethnic Dialogue. Albania 2004

Launched in 2002, the annual Summits of the Heads of States of South-East European countries endeavour, through significant declarations and action plans adopted at each summit, to preserve and promote the region’s cultural assets as a shared benefit.

Building on the progress of the last decade, this unique framework of regional cooperation helps to position culture at the heart of international cooperation and to forge political commitments at the highest levels.

Irina Bokova launches initiative to develop regional cultural networks in South-East Europe

In her opening address at the 9th Regional Summit of Heads of State of South-East Europe (Belgrade, 2011), Irina Bokova emphasized that “the people of South East Europe have demonstrated that dialogue can help people overcome differences and reconcile after conflicts” and highlighted the important role played by art and memory in the process of reconciliation and everyday peace.

The Director-General also launched a new initiative to build networks among professionals, civil society and politicians, "Culture: a Bridge to Development", the principles of which were endorsed at the Seventh Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe. The initiative will seek to unite the creative artistic forces of the region as distinct drivers of development.

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