Arab countries urged to take advantage of digital technology in developing cultural policies

22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers concludes with several landmark decisions



Ministers at the 22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers. — Supplied photo
Ministers at the 22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers. — Supplied photo
by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 21 Dec 2021, 12:54 AM

The 22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers urged Arab leaders to take advantage of digital technology in developing cultural policies.

Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth along with Arab League Cultural, Educational and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), the conference concluded on Monday. Several key takeaways for the development of Arab culture were made during the two-day conference.

The event hosted 18 ministers in-charge of cultural affairs in various Arab countries, the director-general of ALECSO, more than 88 delegations with representatives of intergovernmental organisations, and key figures from the Arab world at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Strategic directions in a post-pandemic world

Arab leaders and the heads of delegations presented the strategic directions that countries should adopt in a post-pandemic world.

They stressed the need for activating joint Arab cultural projects to strengthen Arab identity and protect the younger generations from falling prey to extremism.

The conference also discussed ways to strengthen Arab cultural unity and ensuring its sustainability through building inclusive societies. “The need for Arab culture to be open to other cultures of the world and contribute to forging human connections globally,” said a press release from the Ministry of Culture.

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It was also recommended that Arab countries must work on implementing the outcomes of the review of the comprehensive plan for Arab culture and use it to develop national strategies for cultural development and joint cooperation.

They called for organising workshops and meetings to present the comprehensive plan for Arab culture and introduce it to the cultural entities in their respective countries to action the plan. They stressed that the cultural projects approved in this session will contribute to achieving cultural integration among Arab countries.

The conference urged Arab countries to take advantage of digital technology in developing cultural policies in various countries to protect individuals and entities operating in the field from crises.

The 22nd session of the conference was based on a number of topics, most notably the Status and the Future report of the Arabic language issued by the ministry in partnership with the Advisory Council on Arabic Language; and discussed ways of cooperation to launch new projects in the fields of culture, heritage and development of Arabic.

On the concluding day of the conference the delegates welcomed Saudi Arabia's request to host the 23rd session of the conference in 2022.

Comprehensive plan for Arab culture

The discussions of the 22nd session reviewed and updated the draft of the comprehensive plan for Arab culture. The decisions were based on an analytical review of the most important developments of the Arab cultural scene in past 20 years.

The discussions also covered the political, economic and social repercussions of these events and the challenges that the Arab world is facing today.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth and chair of the 22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers, said: “The UAE is keen on strategic cooperation with ALECSO in all aspects related to its fields of work.”

She added: “I must mention the ministers’ conversation with Arab Youth, it’s an important example of what communication between decisionmakers and our target groups can achieve in the cultural sector.”

The signing of the UAE Declaration for the Arabic Language launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, is an important landmark, said Al Kaabi.

Dr Mohammed Ould Amar, director-general of ALECSO, said: “We opened a new phase of work in the field of culture in Arab countries thanks to the updated plan for Arab culture, and thanks to joint Arab cultural projects that will strengthen our cooperation. The plan will provide the necessary support to cultural institutions in many areas and give Arab states the opportunity to be at par with other countries in the upcoming regional and international events.”

He pointed out that the 22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers is part of the framework of cooperation between the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth ALECSO and implements the decision of the 21st session of the conference which included a number of decisions such as the areas of join Arab cultural work, opening up new horizons to develop cultural projects that promote Arab culture in the region as well as globally.


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