873rd meeting – 17 and 18 February 2004

    Item 7.1

    Conference of European Ministers responsible for cultural affairs on “The new role and new responsibilities of ministers of culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity” (Opatija/Croatia, 20-22 October 2003)
    Report by the Secretary General

    (CM(2004)18)

    Decisions

    The Deputies

    1. thanked the Croatian authorities for the organisation of this Conference;

    2. took note of the Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention, expressing their satisfaction with regard to the spirit of the Declaration and subscribing to the principles enshrined therein;

    3. took note of the recommendations of the Ministers of Cultural Affairs, as they appear at Appendix 2 of document CM(2004)18 and agreed to include, to the greatest extent possible, these proposals in the annual Programme of Activities of the Council of Europe;

    4. instructed the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT) that these activities be implemented in coordination with those that may be proposed by the Steering Committees responsible for the sectors working in conflict prevention, and by the “Working Party with the task of examining proposals of the Secretary General on multicultural and inter-religious dialogue" (GT-Dialogue);

    5. and, in order to do this, agreed to:

    a. instruct the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT) to give responsibility for the follow-up and application of the Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention to a project group, in co-operation, as far as is possible, with other Steering Committees and with the GT-Dialogue, as well as with the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and in harmony with the follow-up to the relevant decisions on 'intercultural education' to be adopted by the 21st Session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (Athens, 10-12 November 2003);

    b. encourage the CDCULT:

    - to pursue, and even to prolong or develop, the implementation of the Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention Project Action Plan 2002-2004, and

    - to organise, in a city symbolic of cultural diversity and democracy, an annual Intercultural Forum bringing together researchers, experts, representatives of different forms of cultural diversity, representatives of civil society, cultural players and Culture Ministry officials, in order to follow closely and to encourage the various developments in intercultural dialogue1;

    c. instruct the CDCULT:

    - to examine the scope for implementing a flexible system of inventorying and evaluating good practices in each member state, intended to encourage and facilitate intercultural dialogue, whether this is implemented at the political-administrative level or by civil society, in Europe or in co-operation with other regions, more specifically those to the south of the Mediterranean. The North-South Centre should be associated with this endeavour;

    - to study the means of disseminating these practices by such means as forums, organised within the framework of the Action Plan, and the “Compendium” (“Cultural policies in Europe: a compendium of basic facts and trends”, an on-line information service available at: http://www.culturalpolicies.net/.);

    - to cooperate with the appropriate bodies of the European Commission and those of the relevant international organisations, such as UNESCO, which work in this field;

    6. took note of the invitation of the Minister of Culture of Turkey to host a ministerial meeting in Turkey in autumn 2004;

    7. in the light of the views expressed at the present meeting, took note of the invitation of the Minister of Culture of Armenia to organise a conference of Ministers of Cultural Affairs of the Council of Europe in Armenia in autumn 2005, at the close of the meeting of the Working Group on Cultural Diversity and Globalisation of the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) in order to debate cooperation within the South Caucasus and the Black Sea;

    8. having regard to decisions 1 to 7 above, took note of the report of the Secretary General on the Conference of European Ministers responsible for cultural affairs on “The new role and new responsibilities of ministers of culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity” (Opatija/Croatia, 20-22 October 2003), as it appears in document CM(2004)18, as a whole.

Note 1 As noted by the Committee of Ministers on the 19 November 2003 at its 861st meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2003)861/7.1 – CM(2003)156), the 1st Intercultural Forum was organised, at the invitation of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo from 10-12 December 2003, on the theme “(Re)thinking stereotypes: constructing intercultural and interreligious dialogue”.


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