The Korea Herald


Global meeting on intangible cultural heritage to explore sustainable livelihoods in digital era

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : July 24, 2023 - 14:04

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Poster for the global meeting on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (CHA) Poster for the global meeting on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (CHA)

A global meeting dedicated to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage will be held at the Westin Josun Seoul in central Seoul, from Tuesday.

The two-day event titled, "Unleashing the Power of Living Heritage for Sustainable Development and Peace," jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Culture Heritage Administration, commemorates the 20-year anniversary of the implementation of the UNESCO "Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage."

The meeting aims to bring together cultural heritage scholars and experts from around the world to discuss strategies for safeguarding the global living heritage community and address contemporary challenges related to peace and sustainable development. Additionally, the event will unveil the "Seoul Vision," a declaration resulting from the meeting.

The panel discussions will revolve around four key thematic areas: living heritage and sustainable livelihoods, its connection to the natural world, its role in providing quality education and preparations in the digital environment. These topics have been deemed crucial within the heritage field, as they tackle pressing issues such as the absence of sustainable livelihoods for the global population, the escalating effects of climate change, deficiencies in education systems and the detrimental impact of hate speech on online platforms.

The opening remarks will be delivered by Park Jin, Korea's minister of Foreign Affairs, Choi Eung-chon, head of the Cultural Heritage Administration and Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's director-general.

Subsequent sessions will each feature five panelists and a moderator. The Seoul Vision will be co-announced by Ernesto Ottone, assistant director-general for culture at UNESCO and Bak Sang-mee, ambassador for the permanent delegation of the Republic of Korea to UNESCO, on Wednesday.

Since its adoption in 2003, the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage has garnered 181 state parties, with 676 elements of cultural heritage inscribed in the lists of the convention and 217 NGOs accredited to provide advisory services.

South Korea has been a registered member since 2005. In 2017, the country also played a role as the chair of the 12th inter-governmental committee held in Jeju.

Attendance for the meeting is limited to preregistered guests only, but the event will be livestreamed on UNESCO's official website for public viewing. Interpretation services will be available in Korean, English, French and Spanish.