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UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

10/30/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/30/2020 03:46

Regional Perspectives | Arab States

The Permanent Committee for Arab Culture of Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) met on October 15 in an extraordinary session to jointly devise long term cultural strategies. The meeting was devoted to presenting a preliminary working paper for the project 'Modernizing and developing the comprehensive plan for Arab culture'. Opening the meeting, ALECSO Director-General, Mohamed Ould Omar, highlighted that updating the plan was key, particularly in light of the various difficulties and crises experienced by Arab countries, in order to 'bring the culture closer to the Arab citizen'. This meeting and working paper are concrete follow-up actions to the Conference of Ministers for Cultural Affairs that was held in Cairo (Egypt) in 2018.

ALECSO also in October held a meeting between regional and international organizations - including UNESCO - to support the efforts of particular countries in the Arab States region to protect their heritage properties in times of crisis. Several governmental and non-governmental organizations presented updates of their work in countries currently facing a threat to their cultural property, namely Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan. The purpose of the meeting was to review current efforts in these countries in order to review action places and harmonise efforts.

Meanwhile, on September 30, Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) announced the allocation of USD 1 million to restore the collections of 30 museums in the Islamic world affected by crises. The funding announcement was accompanied by the creation of the Network of Islamic Art Museums, as well as the adoption of an initiative to make museums more inclusive to the specific needs of people living with a disability, for example, the use of Braille labelling.