Director-General opens 2007 UNESCO Children’s Performing Arts Festival of East Asia in Shenyang

On 2 August, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, opened the 2007 UNESCO Children’s Performing Arts Festival of East Asia in Shenyang, China.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Party Secretary of Shenyang, the Mayor of Shenyang, the Vice-Governor of Liaoning Province and the Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board. Also attending the Festival, as in previous years, was the Japanese actress Komaki Kurihara. The Festival brought together children from five countries and one region in East Asia – China, including Macao Special Administrative Region, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and the Republic of Korea.

“In hosting this year’s Festival, China and its people and children demonstrate yet again their active support to UNESCO’s mission to promote the cultural heritage of humanity, in all its marvellous diversity”, Mr Matsuura declared in his opening address. He went on to underscore the importance UNESCO attaches to the need to safeguard and promote cultural diversity, especially in this era of globalization. “As a source of identity, knowledge and creativity, culture is vital to social cohesion and human development. Built up through dialogue and exchange, culture is also a force for peace, understanding and solidarity. [...] In this context, the UNESCO Children’s Performing Arts Festival of East Asia has proven an ideal platform. Since 2001, this gathering has enabled young generations of East Asians to meet, to exchange and to build friendships, helping to forge a culture of peace and mutual respect. It is an inspiring initiative that we must pursue.”

While in Shenyang, the Director-General met with Mr Li Ke Qiang, Party Secretary of Liaoning Province, and Mr Chen Zhenggao, Party Secretary of Shenyang, as well as several members of the Shenyang Municipal Government and the Government of Liaoning Province. He also opened the eighth sub-regional meeting of Secretaries-General of the National Commissions for UNESCO in East Asia, where Mr Matsuura paid tribute to the growing cooperation among the five countries and also underscored the vital role played by National Commissions, Clubs and Federations in promoting UNESCO’s action at the country level.

The Director-General visited the international gardens and World Cultural and Natural Heritage Exhibition at the Shenyang Expo Garden and toured the Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty, one of the thirty-five World Heritage sites in China. He also attended the inauguration of the UNESCO Young People’s World Heritage Education Project at the Northeast Yucai School in Shenyang.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 105-2007
  • 07-08-2007
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