Call for regional co-op for sustainable human devStaff Correspondent
The first Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum of the Asia-Pacific Region ended Friday with adoption of the Dhaka Declaration by the participating countries, which included a call for ‘strengthening political will and its engagement for ensuring sustainable and human development integrating culture.’
The declaration also called on the countries to ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The forum decided to adopt policy objectives including integrating culture into sustainable development programmes; promoting participatory governance for culture; collecting and sharing information to promote the diversity of cultural expressions; strengthening the cultural and creative industries and also encouraging cultural exchange and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
The minister for cultural affairs, Abul Kalam Azad, read out the declaration in the concluding session of the forum jointly organised by the ministry of cultural affairs and UNESCO at the Ruposhi Bangla
Hotel. Thirty-three of
the 44 member countries attended the ministerial forum. Cultural affairs ministers from 14 countries also attended.
The declaration called on member countries to foster regional cooperation among networks of professionals working in the fields of cultural and creative industries.
The director general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, lauded Bangladesh’s role in organising the forum and its political will to integrate culture into sustainable development programmes.
Bokova, who attended the concluding session wearing a yellow jamdani sari, laid emphasis on creating ‘cultural literacy’ among people of the member countries to achieve the goals set in the forum.
The concluding day’s programmes featured six seminars on the protection and promotion of cultural diversity in the Asia Pacific region.
The forum was aimed to encourage more countries to ratify the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2005. A total of 123 countries of the world have already re-signed the Convention, so far. Among the 44 countries in this Asia Pacific region, only 12 countries including Bangladesh have re-signed the convention.
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