Promoting Understanding and Cooperation among UNESCO C2 Centers in Korea

Participants discussing meeting topics

On 15 January, ICHCAP, which is supported by the Cultural Heritage Administration (led by Jae-suk Chung), held a meeting for Korea’s five category two centers (C2C) at the National Intangible Heritage Center in Jeonju. C2C refers to organizations established under the auspices of UNESCO through an agreement with the government of the Republic of Korea. The meeting was the first official event led by Gi Hyung Keum, who took office as the third ICHCAP Director-General on 1 January. It was held amid growing expectations for the roles of C2Cs and their cooperation.

Directors and forty officials from C2 centers working in the areas of education (Asia-Pacific Center of. Education for International Understanding, Director Utak Chung), culture (ICHCAP), natural science (International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management, Director Yang-su Kim), and humanities and social sciences (International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement, Secretary-General Si-hyun Kim), and the International Center for Documentary Heritage, a communication-related C2C undergoing preparations for establishment (Hyeong-guk Kim, Head of Archival Cooperation Division at National Archives of Korea). Kwang-ho Kim, Secretary-General of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, also joined the meeting.

The participants shared information on each center’s key projects and current issues and discussed measures to promote cooperation. In the process, they proposed plans to: raise awareness of water security from the perspectives of education and ICH (traditional water management, for example); support digitization at archives and records institutions; establish a C2C network and common identities; strengthen cooperation to raise domestic awareness and status of C2Cs; promote joint multicultural and cultural diversity projects; and co-host an event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Korea’s membership of UNESCO in 2020.

Category 2 Center meeting participants

“Creativity comes from connections. We are interconnected by common threads. We can promote massive projects through cooperation,” said Mr. Keum.
Kwang-ho Kim, Secretary-General of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, said that C2C networking can contribute to enhancing understanding of multiple cultures and peace building, expressing expectations that it will help lay the foundation and make progress for better visibility at home and abroad through contribution to boosting national prestige and world peace.