Cultural diversity

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Final Statement from the XVII Forum of Ministers of Culture and Officials in Charge of Cultural Policies of Latin America and the Caribbean

For 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, the Republic of Ecuador hosted the XVII Forum of Ministers of Culture and Officials in Charge of Cultural Policies of Latin America and the Caribbean on April 12 and 13.

The meeting’s central theme was the cultural integration of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in defense of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue for sustainable development.

The ministers adopted a final statement, which is excerpted below:

“We, the ministers and officials in charge of culture, believe the process undertaken to represent a great step toward the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, notably for the following reasons:

  • In the name of the right of all our cultures to exist and to preserve their traditional, centuries-old practices inherent to their respective identities
  • For the promotion of history, traditions, values, cultural diversity, interculturality, and mutual understanding between the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean
  • In order to foster cooperation, cultural integration, and the development of creative industries locally, regionally, and nationally
  • To promote cultural diversity as an indispensable element of public policy seeking to end poverty, promote equity, and meet Millennium Development Goals in a region where people are subject to different types of exclusion and poverty”

The forum—the oldest of its kind—was set up in 1989. It is made up of 33 countries from Latin America and the surrounding area. The final statement is available in full (in Spanish) on the website of Ecuador’s Ministry of Culture.

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