Uzbekistan Hosts International Conference “Preservation of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Topical Issues and Strategies to Resolve Them” : ICHCAP and UNESCO Strengthen Cooperation for Safeguarding Silkroad ICH
The International Conference “Preservation of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Topical Issues and Strategies to Resolve Them” is hosted by 10 ministries and government office of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on August 26, 2019. The conference is being held as part of the Cultural Heritage Week in Uzbekistan under the theme “Crossroads of Roads and Civilizations: Empire, Religion, Culture”, which is taking place in Tashkent, Termez, Bukhara and Samarkand—the four major cities of Uzbekistan. It has attracted the participation of over 900 scholars and experts from 70 countries in various fields across the world.
The opening ceremony on August 26 was attended by academics, researchers and journalists from around 70 countries, including President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan and Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General. The conference commenced with a keynote speech delivered by UNESCO Chair Professor Michael Turner, titled “Challenges for urban heritage in the post-Soviet era,” and led to wide-ranging discussions on various issues and topics facing tangible and intangible heritage across three separate conference venues.
A range of presentations and discussions took place on the current state of safeguarding tangible and intangible heritage as well as various practical challenges that each country faces. The given topics consisted of “Cultural heritage and urban planning” in Section 1, “Legal and regulatory mechanisms in World Heritage conservation” in Section 2, and “Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in education with ICTs” in Section 3. In particular, Section 3 included Dr. Park Seong-Yong, Assistant Director-General, ICHCAP, who introduced ICHCAP’s various information-sharing and networking activities in the Asia-Pacific region under the theme of “Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage through ICTs”. Furthermore, Dr. Park announced the plan to establish the “Silkroad ICH Information-Sharing Platform” through Silkroad ICH festival network meetings, thereby disseminating valuable information and resources on various ICH festivals in Central Asia and contributing to sustainable development in the region.
In addition, Mr. KEUM, Gi Hyung, ICHCAP Director-General met with Mme. Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General and shared plans and current state of cooperative projects related to intangible heritage along the Silk Road. Active cooperation with UNESCO is expected to boost the project for safeguarding intangible heritage along the Silk Road as of 2020. The UNESCO Director-General expressed her hope that the said project will establish the foundation for the systematic safeguarding of intangible heritage in Central Asia and contribute to the promotion of intangible heritage along the Silk Road.