Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Cultural Diversity at the heart of the debate at summit of Heads of State of Southeast Europe in Bucharest–2007/06/7–8

The fifth summit of Heads of State of Southeast Europe was held June 7 and 8, 2007, in Bucharest and Sibiu, Romania, under the theme “Cultural Diversity—a Bridge between Cultural Heritage and the Culture of the Future.” At the opening of the summit, UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura declared that the earlier summits in Ohrid (2003), Tirana (2004), Varna (2005), and Opatija (2006) had “contributed to reinforcing regional cooperation as well as the political will and resources needed to ensure each country’s development and prosperity,” adding, “What is of great satisfaction for UNESCO is that each summit has chosen culture as the foundation for such an endeavor.”

Later, he stated that “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.”

According to Mr. Matsuura, the summit 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 multi-faceted potential of cultural heritage.”