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INTERFACE OF CULTURAL IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT

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Recommendations

MEETING OF EXPERTS 

 ON

INTERFACE OF CULTURAL IDENTITY AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Part I. Meeting of Experts

1.1 The expertsí meeting was held within the framework of the United Nations World Decade For Cultural Development (1988-1997).

1.2 Participants from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey attended the meeting, as well as a representative from with World Decade Secretariat (Unesco - Paris), and the Resident Representative for India of the U.N.D.P.

1.3 The experts presented papers which ranged from theoretical issues on cultural identity and development to regional case studies in different field situations.

Part II. Observation

The Meeting,

2.1 Welcoming the initiative of the United Nations in launching the "World Decade for Cultural Development" and setting up of "World Commission on Culture and Development", both under the aegis of Unesco,

(a) to promote the cultural dimensions of development with a view to identifying and analysing the ways in which cultural development influences individual and collective well-being; and

(b) to study the implications of the present progressive loss of indigenous knowledge, tradition, language and even entire cultures.

2.2 Observing that this initiative had come at an appropriate moment, especially in view of the fact that

(a) development entails transformation of the material base, social structures, value systems and symbolic representation of any community or society, and brings out the creative potential at an individual or collective level;

(b) as such, it amounts to the re-creation of the society that draws on tradition and re-orders it even as it creates while assimilating and adapting any new technology on its own terms;

(c) a society is alive and vibrant only if it has the capacity to be rooted in its own matrix and yet responsive to other cultures; and

(d) development, in the fullest sense, is the development of the human potential in all its economic, material, socio-cultural, and spiritual aspects.

Part III. Recommendation No. 1

3.1 Calls-upon

(a) Research Institutions to engage in multi-disciplinary studies of development strategies and programmes in consultation with the representatives of the concerned communities so that the significance of culture as a necessary aspect of development is borne out, especially when there is an external intervention of finance or technology;

(b) National Governments to take cognizance of and reflect the cultural dimension of development in their perspective planning at national, regional and village levels; and

(c) Specialized Agencies of the United Nations System to take the initiative in incorporating cultural parameters in development and to insist on involvement and participation of target groups and communities in the planning process.

Part IV. Recommendation No. 2

4.1 Recommends

Unesco give support to the organisation of further deliberations on the subject, especially by

(a) experts on culture and ecology and those related to the developmental sectors such as science, technology, rural development, economics, etc.;

(b) representatives of community based and grass roots non-Governmental Organisations working in the field of development programmes such as those of environment, rural development, water resources and those from the fields of education and culture; and

(c) UNESCO, in collaboration with other United Nations Specialized Agencies support a series of pilot studies on cultural identity and regional development.

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