Saturday, March 19, 2011

Malacañang to sign UNESCO for protection and promotion of cultural diversity needed-Legarda

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 20, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities and a staunch advocate of the preservation of cultural heritage urged Malacañang to sign the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions that is much needed in the country where its entry clearly showed the urgency and political commitment for action by the international community.

“In 2005, the Convention was adopted and entered into force as early as 2007 where it was a legally-binding international agreement that recognized the importance of traditional knowledge, knowledge systems of indigenous peoples and its positive contribution to sustainable development and it also encouraged artists, cultural professionals, practitioners and citizens worldwide to create, produce, disseminate and enjoy a broad range of cultural goods, services and activities,” she said, adding that the Philippines should follow suit and make cultural preservation with 116 state parties today as one of the country’s priorities.

Legarda said that we have been missing out the opportunity to access the International Fund for Cultural Diversity by not being a state party on the convention, a fund which could have supported activities geared towards the strengthening of institutional infrastructure and cultural industries, mapping of our cultural communities, funding for research and education, and the preservation of our dying art forms, among others where it was created for the promotion of sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing and least developed countries through the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector.

The Senator said that UNESCO recognizes that culture can no longer be a by-product of development, but rather the mainstream for sustainable development.

During the 1st call for applications launched in March 2010, thirty-one projects out of 250 requests for funding by state parties and international NGOs have been approved by the Convention’s Intergovernmental Committee; thus, to protect Philippine contemporary art as well as the customs, handicrafts, and way of life of the more than 110 ethno-linguistic groups all over the country, the Senator believes that Malacañang will merit favorable action on the said convention. (Jason de Asis)

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