HA NOI — A Culture and Development Week featuring a series of events including policy dialogues, roundtable discussions, book launches and film nights will be held for the first time in Viet Nam, the UN culture agency UNESCO has announced.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and a number of national and sub-national partners, the week will include discussions and illustrations about the relationship between culture and development. Government authorities, policy makers, international donors, civil society and the media are expected to take part in all events.
The week started on Monday with a roundtable discussion entitled Building Partnerships to Preserve and Promote Culture for Viet Nam's Sustainable Development.
The event served as a forum for a wide range of agencies, including UNESCO, the Viet Nam Culture Ministry, the National Commission for UNESCO, civil society, the private sector and media agencies, to discuss the multifaceted relationship between culture and development and possibilities for a joint endeavour among relevant stake olders in the preservation and promotion of culture and sustainable development.
Representative of UNESCO to Viet Nam Katherine Muller Marin indicated that culture was not only a goal, but also a vehicle for development.
"The discussion aims to position the private sector as the key driver of sustainable development," she said.
"Their responsible behaviour and global citizenship allow them to match more effectively the needs of the communities in which the private sector operates."
"Working with the private sector is no longer only an option, it's a necessity," she concluded.
A workshop on preservation and promotion of cultural heritage in the context of modernisation held yesterday identified the underlying causes of imbalance between heritage preservation and modernisation which were identified through extensive research of heritage preservation at a number of sites in Viet Nam and collecting international best practices.
"This is an especially opportune moment as, with Viet Nam's recently becoming a middle-income country, a heightened recognition and investment in culture, as both a subject matter (cultural heritage and assets) and a process (culturally appropriate development policies and interventions) can help the country to address its changing needs, especially to deal with many of the challenges associated with human development, such as rising inequality," Marin said.
The week will run until Friday with workshops on Heritage Education in Viet Nam's Schools; Capacity Building Action Plan for World Heritage Sites in Viet Nam; Integrating Culture and Tourism for Sustainable Development; Quang Nam Experience; Integrating Customary Practices into Conservation and Local Economic Development at Protected Sites in Viet Nam; and Findings from the First Test Phase of UNESCO Culture and Development Indicator Suite in Viet Nam.
New UNESCO manuals will be launched and a Sustainable Tourism Development in the My Son World Heritage Site project will be inaugurated. — VNS