Asia-Pacific Cultural Conference Begins in Bangladesh
The Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum of the Asia-Pacific Region kicked off Wednesday in Bangladesh capital Dhaka with a view to encouraging more countries to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh and United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) jointly organized the three-day conference.
Ministers and high-level officials from 31 countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are taking part in the forum.
Six seminars on the protection and promotion of cultural diversity in the Asia Pacific region will be held during the conference. The conference will conclude on May 11 with the “Dhaka Convention”.
During the conference, an exhibition on the Cultural Diversity of Bangladesh will be held in Dhaka’s Hotel Ruposhi Bangla.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who inaugurated the conference called for reinforcing cultural exchange among nations in the Asia-Pacific region, saying the global peace could be achieved through “letting thousand flowers bloom, and our unique cultural diversities blossom”.
The region, which comprises 60 percent of the world’s population with different races, ethnicities, faiths and heritages and some of the oldest human civilizations, has the strength to overcome the fearsome forces of terrorism, extremism and the other challenges of today’s globalized world, she said.
Bangladesh has ratified the UNESCO “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” in 2007 and she hoped that other countries in the region would do the same.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokoba, addressing the inaugural ceremony, termed Bangladesh as a unique example of cultural multilateralism and said the South Asian nation has showed its stunning commitment to implement the U.N. resolutions.
In 2005, UNESCO approved the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, in order to protect and promote the cultural diversity of all the countries in the world.
Among the 44 countries in the Asia-pacific region, only 12 countries including Bangladesh have ratified the Convention so far.