Culture not only provides the ground for peace and friendship between nations, but also has fundamental influence on enhancement of economic cooperation
Statement by President of ECO Cultural Institute
H. E. Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Mazaheri
The 22nd Meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers
28 February 2017
This meeting is a great occasion for ECO Cultural Institute to present an account of its latest achievements and international activities in area of culture.
Utilizing effective devices such as arts, culture and literature shared by all nations of the region, inter-cultural dialogue could be encouraged and based on the collective wisdom, a unique regional cultural diplomacy would be developed to bring glory and pride for people of the region in the era of globalization. ECO Cultural Institute recognizing the vital role of these numerous commonalities in strengthening bonds of friendship, makes efforts in its new chapter of activities to take effective steps towards realization of the regional diplomacy through cooperation, sympathy and .
During my short tenure of office as the president of this international cultural body, a wide range of activities have been organized to meet the objectives envisaged in the Institute's charter. Three studies are going to be published, among them is a selection of articles by Tajik scholars on Roudaki's life and works. Also, to preserve the aforesaid common cultural heritage, a comprehensive research project on cultural security of the ECO Member States will be unveiled in 2017.
To establish network connection among cultural centers, national libraries and museums of the region, the first Regional Training Workshop on the Museum Environment and Preventive Conservation, jointly organized by ECO Cultural Institute, Cultural Heritage Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and participated by museum professionals from the ECO Member States. Furthermore, the Institute plans to arrange the 4th Meeting of ECO Heads of National Libraries in the near future.
Among top priorities of the ECO Cultural Institute is partnership with academia in area of culture. To this end, the first Meeting of ECO Universities of Arts' Presidents was held and twenty scholarships were granted to the students of the region. Organizing joint academic events, round tables, student and faculty exchange programs are the other objectives the Institute pursues within the framework of such partnerships.
Promoting regional cooperation pertaining to the sports is another goal emphasized in the ECO Cultural Institute's charter. to this end, the Institute has organized the first ECO Chess Cup, participated by all the ECO Member States and will arrange more sports events in the future to promote it in the region.
Successful activities of the Institute was followed by the third poetry night to celebrate winter, in collaboration with the embassy of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tehran, well-attended by poets of the region. The presented poems will be published as a valuable reference of contemporary poetry in the region.
Also, ECO Cultural Institute has carried out major renovation to its premises involving specialized library, diplomatic conference center and gallery to furnish the distinguished ECO Member States with a great venue to promote their culture, arts and literature.
Music is the common language of all nations and music of ECO region is famed worldwide. To promote traditional music of ECO nations, ECO Cultural Institute and music groups of the region have jointly organized a wide variety of events, including a musical performance on Rumi entitled "Bayati Mevlevi Ayini", in association with Republic of Turkey's Yunus Emre Cultural Institute in Tehran.
Also, to honor the great, ancient arts of the region, ECO Cultural Institute has arranged numerous arts events including an exhibition of traditional arts masterworks by prominent artists of the region, entitled "Transcendent Arts".
Ladies and gentlemen;
I would like to inform that the Institute's performance has been praiseworthy as the sixty fifth session of the UN general assembly, in a resolution on cooperation between the UN and ECO, para 28, appreciates the work being done by the Cultural Institute to expand and strengthen the cultural ties among the ECO Member States, and requests the relevant UN institutions, especially the UNESCO, to extend support to the programs and projects of the Cultural Institute aimed at promoting the rich cultural heritage of the region. To this end, Continuous and constructive interaction with other regional and international cultural institutions in the years ahead will be one of our objectives.
Mr. Chairman, Honorable Ministers;
.I would like to inform that ECO Cultural Institute recognizing the importance of mass consciousness of the common cultural heritage and its impact on enrichment and development of cooperation in all aspects in the region as well as significance of publicizing the existing cultural, educational and social problems of the region, will publish monthly magazines in common languages of the region (Persian, English, Russian, Urdu and Turkish). Definitely contribution of authors of the region will enrich its content.
Moreover, to maximize contribution of the ECO Member States and their luminaries, the Institute plans to establish councils in areas of arts, culture, literature and research to enhance the Institute's performance with their
Tourism promotion as the most important cultural mechanism for sustainable development is another objective to be seriously pursued by the Institute.
We are pleased to announce that recently some states in the region have shown interest in accession to the Institute, obviously, contribution of the region's states is essential for the Institute's success in its mandates and enhancement of regional cooperation in the area of culture.
Over the years, the ECO Cultural Institute has not been able to change the annual growth of inflation and rising costs is a global phenomenon, always making difficulties in organizing cultural activities. Despite financial constraints and a budget remained unchanged for years, ECO Cultural Institute has always made efforts to bring together through its activities a large gathering of eminent personalities of the region in areas of culture, art and literature. The distinguished member states of the Institute may kindly reconsider its budget and their contributions.
ECO Cultural Institute has set spectacular goals for the upcoming three years to be achieved in partnership with the states in the region. With your support as the ECO Member States and based on collective wisdom, we strive to prepare the ground for realization of united regional cultural diplomacy.
In conclusion, I would like to appreciate the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for its hospitality and special arrangements to make this event another successful experience in ECO's history.