You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 07:30:53 Dec 25, 2015, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide



RSS | More feeds

For Journalists

News Features



Cultural Diversity at the heart of debate at summit of Heads of State of South-East Europe in Bucharest

Cultural Diversity at the heart of debate at summit of Heads of State of South-East Europe in Bucharest
  • © UNESCO/Michel Ravassard
  • Korean Fantasy - the two Korean masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage : the Jongmyo Shrine and the Pansori Epic Chant.

“The unique dynamic across all these summits lies in the reiterated commitment of the leaders of South-East Europe to dialogue, understanding, reconciliation and peace,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura declared as he opened the fifth summit of heads of state of South-East Europe, which is taking place on 7 and 8 June in Bucharest and in Sibiu (Romania).

Organized by Romanian President Traian Basesc, the summit brings together five other heads of state: Neboisa Radmanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Stjepan Mesic (Croatia), Branko Crvenkovski (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Filip Vujanoovic (Montenegro) and Boris Tadic (Serbia). Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and many ministers from the region are also participating in the meeting, which is focused on: “Cultural Diversity – a Bridge between Cultural Heritage and the Culture of the Future.”

Referring to earlier summits - Ohrid (2003), Tirana (2004), Varna (2005) and Opatija (2006) - the Director-General stressed that these meetings contributed to reinforcing regional co-operation as well as the political will and resources needed to ensure the countries’ development and prosperity. “What is of great satisfaction for UNESCO is that each Summit has chosen culture as the foundation for such an endeavour,” Mr Matsuura said.

“Heritage is no longer understood solely as the built environment. It is seen to encompass all aspects of human creativity,” declared the Director-General, before insisting on the urgent need to ratify the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. “Drawing on this heritage, human creativity can invent new forms of expression that will become, in turn, the legacy for the future,” he added.

According to Mr Matsuura, “cultural industries are an important means for sharing and nurturing such cultural diversity. In this respect, the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is another major tool, which should enable broader access to and exchange of cultural expressions.”

The Director-General expressed satisfaction at the success of this summit, which charted a new path for regional cooperation by linking cultural heritage with a vision of the culture of the future. He also welcomed the “stimulating and constructive statements by the heads of state of the region, which conveyed a positive commitment at the highest level of leadership to cooperation and the promotion of mutual understanding, drawing on the multiple potential of cultural heritage.”

The participants are expected to adopt a final declaration voicing their new commitment later today. They have also decided to hold the sixth annual summit of heads of state of South-East Europe in Greece in 2008.

  • Author(s):UNESCO Press Release No.2007-58
  • 09-06-2007
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific