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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Cultural diversity as seen by artists and creators

Cultural diversity as seen by artists and creators
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 21 May, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, closed the proceedings of the round table held at Organization Headquarters to celebrate World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The debate, entitled “Cultural diversity viewed by artists and creators”, brought together Marijosée Alie, Cultural Affairs and Regional Cooperation Director of RFO; film director Rachid Benhadj; Chico Bouchikhi, UNESCO Artist for Peace and founder of the Gipsy Kings; Fan Zeng, poet, painter, and calligrapher; geneticist Axel Kahn; writer Henri Lopes; actress and singer La Lupa; painter Ricardo Mosner; Sakina M’sa, fashion designer; and photographer Patrick de Wilde. It was moderated by Gora Patel, director of RFO’s radio network.

At the end of the discussions, Mr Matsuura said the round table had opened avenues to deeper thinking and ways to turn it into measures and policies to support artists. One of UNESCO’s most important missions, he recalled, is to help establish environments conducive to developing creativity; integrating the values of cultural diversity into school curricula is crucial to this goal. “People who are aware of what creativity can bring are very likely to be creative themselves, mirroring what they have received,” he stressed.

Mr Matsuura went on to emphasize the importance of the market for the creator: “To find the right approach to the market without being engulfed by its demands/pressures is a major requirement for a creator’s success.” He also underlined the need to ensure the protection of artists’ rights, saying “There too, much remains to be done to consolidate, and in some cases guarantee, these rights.”

“Finally,” he concluded, “you will not be surprised to hear me insist upon the importance of international cooperation. Indeed, UNESCO was founded on the principle of the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity, as its Constitution proclaims. It is up to the international community, in the larger sense of the term, to join together to safeguard and promote cultural diversity. I hope this first meeting will become a regular event. It represents our openness to partnerships of all kinds.”

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 061-2008
  • 23-05-2008
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