The year 2023 AD, like other years, has become history. Over this past year, the ECO Cultural Institute, as a leading cultural institution in the region, exerted its full efforts to enhance cultural relations amongst our member states, leaving a significant mark on the cultural landscape.
Since my installation as President ECI last year, the Institute has undertaken an array of activities. Formal and informal meetings were held with the ECO Secretary General, with Presidents of other ECO Specialized Agencies, as well as the ambassadors of all member states accredited to ECO. Almost twenty meetings were held with leading cultural organizations and literary personalities in Iran and with almost an equal number in Pakistan. The discussions centred around fostering cultural collaboration, planning for future joint activities and promoting the Institute's ais and objectives.
The ECI showcased historical photographs of Ankara, in celebration of Türkiye's Republic Centennial in October 2023, hosted the ECO Day celebrations and the International Book Day celebrations in November 2023 and additionally hosted an international seminar, urging for the protection of cultural property in Occupied Palestine amidst Gaza Conflict in December 2023. The Institute also participated in a charitable event for raising humanitarian aid for Gaza and also participated in the international conference on Gaza war addressed by the President of Iran. The ECI also organized a Yalda Night celebration. It also hosted an "Afghanistan's Night" at the ECI, wherein poetry readings, traditional music performances, and an exhibition of calligraphy and illumination (Tadhib) were featured, showcasing artworks by Afghan artists on the one hand, and celebrating the new year 2024 on the other. Additionally, through the institute's website and social media networks, we continuously covered the region's cultural and artistic events in English, Russian and Persian languages.
The ECI is set to enter the New Year of 2024 with impactful and fresh initiatives. We intend to contribute constructively and effectively by implementing diverse and comprehensive programs. An impressive list of activity plan has been chalked out which will be presented before the RPC for approval.
The ECI also wants to increase its membership, convince the esteemed member states to clear their arrears owed to this institution and also enhance its outreach by hiring staff from all member states and transmission of its activities to electronic, print and social media in Turkish and Urdu languages in addition to the existing languages of communication.
I extend congratulations and best wishes to the people of the vast ECO region on this occasion. May each and every one of you find health, abundance, tranquillity, warmth, and prosperity in your households and may the brave people of Palestine find safety and succour. Happy New Year!
Dr. Saad S. Khan,
President of the ECO Cultural Institute