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 » UNESCO supports preparatory meeting of the 2016 CoMoCoSEE Ministerial Conference in Turkey
04.12.2015 - UNESCO Venice Office

UNESCO supports preparatory meeting of the 2016 CoMoCoSEE Ministerial Conference in Turkey

On 10 December 2015, the Committee of Officials of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe – “Enhancing Culture for Sustainable Development” will meet in Venice. The event, organised by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, will be hosted at the Venice International University located on the Island of San Servolo.

On 27-28 June 2014, in Ohrid (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), a meeting of the ministers of culture of South-East Europe (SEE) launched the renewed “Council of Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe – Enhancing Culture for Sustainable Development” (CoMoCoSEE) as the main unified ministerial cooperation platform on culture and development in South-East Europe, following the decision taken in 2013 to merge the two previous cooperation platforms that had operated side by side for almost a decade.

In the presence of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, Ministers and Heads of Delegation in attendance adopted the “Regional strategy for cultural cooperation in South-East Europe”. Also known as the “Ohrid Strategy”, the document outlined priority areas for regional cooperation to enhance culture as a driver for sustainable development, as well as relevant action strategies and monitoring mechanisms.

In her opening speech, Irina Bokova called the countries of the region to play a decisive role in promoting the power of culture in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. “I welcome this new platform all the more strongly, given its emphasis on the nexus between culture and sustainable development”, she had underlined. “Culture brings sustainability of development - by making it meaningful to people, by deepening ownership and participation, by making sure it is of the people, for the people, and by the people”.

In the wake of that event, the UNESCO Regional Bureau and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey (current Chair of the CoMoCoSEE) are jointly organizing the meeting of the Committee of Officials on 10 December, with the main purpose of setting the ground for the organisation of the next CoMoCoSEE Ministerial Conference, which will be hosted by Turkey early 2016. In particular, participants will discuss the Conference’s theme, programme and expected outputs, as well as possible ways forward for the enhancement of regional cooperation on culture in South-East Europe.

Participants in the meeting will be high representatives of the ministries of culture of the CoMoCoSEE Member States, namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey.

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The event is organized within the overall framework of UNESCO’s global initiative “Culture: A Bridge to Development”, which aims at developing innovative solutions for the safeguarding of culture in all its forms, as a tool for sustainable social, economic and human development. The organisation was made possible thanks to the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the UNESCO Regional Bureau.

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