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Daily Islamabad Post published an article by the SCO SG Vladimir Norov dedicated to the World Day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development
21.05.2020 13:34

On 21 May, the world celebrates World Day forcultural diversity fordialogue and development, launched byUNESCO in2001. In 2002, the UN General Assembly proclaimed a resolution onWorld Cultural Diversity Day fordialogue and development.

This year marks this momentous day forthe 19th time. This holiday date has taken onspecial significance inpromoting and preserving culture, intercultural dialogue, and sustainable development. The events onthis day aim topromote the importance and value ofcultural diversity and the rich civilizational heritage ofmankind.

It is quite symbolic that inthe year ofUNESCO's adoption ofthe Universal Declaration onCultural Diversity in2001, the SCO was established, one ofthe most important activities ofwhich is cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Recognizing the need tostrengthen the potential ofculture, our Organization makes a significant contribution every year tosupport cultural diversity throughprosperity, sustainable development, and global peaceful coexistence.

Today, the SCO unites 18 states, the number ofwhich reaches more than44% ofthe world's population. The SCO family, which includes various peoples, withits original culture, is a colorful palette ofethnic groups, nations, religions, and civilizations, ready forfurther rapprochement and fruitful cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

Speaking ofthis cooperation, it is important tokeep inmind that the peoples ofthe "SCO family" are united byseveral objective factors that form a solid basis forthe successful development ofmutually beneficial relations. We are connected bymany historical, cultural points ofcontact, common cultural heritage, common traditions, the similarity oflanguages and cultures, ethnocultural proximity, good-neighborly relations, and much more.

The humanitarian space ofthe SCO is connected withthe names ofthe greatest thinkers and scientists who have made an invaluable contribution toworld culture.

In the Ancient and Middle Ages, the geographical area ofEurasia was one ofthe most developed inthe world. Thanks tothe Great Silk Road, one ofthe most advanced models ofeconomic development has been developed inthe region, and the most advanced cultural policy has been created. Revenues fromthe operation ofthe Great Silk Road allowed the countries ofthe region toinvest incultural construction.

Today, every ninth UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed inthe World Heritage Fund, is located inthe SCO space.

Currently, inthe SCO states, alongwith the important work topreserve the historical cultural heritage, active activities are being carried outto revive the pastintensive cultural contacts betweenthe peoples ofthe region, onthe model ofhumanitarian communications ofthe Great Silk Road, topromote the popularization ofthe traditions and customs ofthe peoples living inthe SCO space. One ofthe main missions inthe SCO's activities is consistently and purposefully implemented strengthening mutual understanding betweenpeoples, cognition and convergence oftheir cultures and civilizations.

The basis forbuilding such multifaceted cooperation is the SCO Charter, a fundamental document that defines the main areas ofcultural and humanitarian cooperation ofour Organization. Practical work onthis area ofcooperation is entrusted tothe Meeting ofMinisters ofCulture ofSCO Member States, a coordinating and advisory mechanism forcooperation, the functioning ofwhich is inline withthe provisions ofthe SCO Charter and other documents adopted withinthe Organization.

The results ofpractical cooperation are reflected inthe documents adopted atthe annual SCO summits. At the summit ofHeads ofStatein 2007 inBishkek, the Agreement onCultural Cooperation was signed, and atthe summit ofHeads ofGovernment in2016in Tashkent, further outlines ofimproving multifaceted cooperation withinthe SCO, including inthe field ofcultural and humanitarian cooperation, were identified.

United bythe "Shanghai spirit", SCO Member States, based onthe principles ofmutual respect and equal dialogue, fromyear toyear intensify practical work inthe fields ofculture, education, science and technology, health, sports, tourism, and youth contacts. These aspects ofcooperation will continue tobe an essential part ofthe Organization's activities and will continue toserve the goals ofcultural construction inthe SCO space.

The SCO's expanding cultural and humanitarian cooperation fromyear toyear contributes tothe further deepening ofinterstate cultural dialogue, inorder tobring the SCO countries and peoples closer together. A striking example ofthis is the comprehensive SCO-our Common Home program, which includes the days ofSCO culture, the cycle ofpiano concerts "Nine Magic Notes", the annual "SCO Marathons" and the "Eight Wonders ofthe SCO" project aimed atcreating a single tourist space.

The world community is now facing serious challenges related toa sudden attack called COVID-19. The consequences ofthe pandemic forfurther favourable world development are unpredictable and may cause dramatic changes inthe modern world order. All this further actualizes the value ofa single human civilization withthe diversity ofits forms ofexistence, the self-identification ofthe peoples and ethnicities ofthe world and their responsibility forits future.

We need toraise our many voices indefence ofthe importance ofa day ofcultural diversity inthe name ofdialogue and development. This is the best response and moral support inthe fight againsthumanity's most dangerous enemies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am convinced that, based onthe rich cultural traditions ofour peoples, we will be able toovercome all difficulties and trials together and inclose cooperation.

More information:Daily Islamabad Post

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