Vienna, 21 May 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: "Promotion of cultural diversity is an essential element of the dialogue between cultures"

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Vienna, 21 May 2013 – On the occasion of today's UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger stressed Austria's contribution to increasing awareness of the great value of cultural diversity beyond national borders and social limits: "In view of the reported destruction of world heritage objects in Mali and Syria, it is important for us that Austria with its activities within the framework of the dialogue of cultures should take a firm stand and fight for the protection of the diversity of material and intangible cultural heritage."

The protection of diversity of creative and cultural forms of expression is becoming increasingly important for sustainable economic development beyond the central socio-political value of culture. Culture as a right to free development and the unfolding of potential is a driving force for overcoming inequalities. "This is why Austria as a member of the UN Human Rights Council supports the work of UN Special Rapporteur Cultural Rights, Farida Shaheed", the Vice-Chancellor said.

The UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is a milestone in the cooperation of the international community of states in this context. To date, the Convention has been ratified by 127 states and the EU with the aim of preserving the inherent and invaluable value of culture also in future generations.

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