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19 May, 2013

UNESCO Releases Hangzhou Declaration on Culture


HANGZHOU, May 17 (Xinhua) — UNESCO concluded the International Congress of Hangzhou on Friday by issuing a declaration recognizing the power of culture for sustainable development.

Alissandra Cummins, chairwoman of the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said the declaration was a positive outcome of the congress and it details eight measures to make culture a pillar for sustainable development.

According to the declaration, UNESCO calls upon the world to integrate culture into all development policies and plans, facilitate cultural development, mutual cultural understanding and cultural reconciliation, safeguard the cultural rights of all to promote inclusive social development, and boost the role of culture in poverty reduction and inclusive development.

It also advocates using culture to advance environmental sustainability, as well as improve people’s ability to handle disasters and adapt to climate change.

Culture must be cherished and protected for future generations, and it should be utilized to improve sustainability and resource management in cities and foster new cooperation models, according to the declaration.

China’s Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping said the measures proposed by the declaration would have a significant impact on the world’s future development agenda and mark a milestone in the global history of cultural development.

More than 400 delegates from 81 countries and 20 international organizations attended the congress, which opened in east China’s Zhejiang Province on Wednesday.

Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO’s assistant director-general for culture, said it was a good time to send the right message on cultural protection at the Hangzhou congress since the previous conference to promote cultural policies was held in Stockholm in 1998.