Silk Roads Living Heritage Network Launched: Fostering a Culture of Peace and Sustainable Development through Collaboration
UNESCO-ICHCAP, with cooperation with the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) and the Korean Foundation’s Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum Secretariat, co-hosted and launched the Silk Roads Living Heritage Network on 28 and 29 October 2021. The event took place at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul and online during Korea Foundation’s Public Diplomacy Week.
On the first day, 28 October, diplomatic missions from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan attended the opening ceremony, representing the founding member states of the network. Following on the same day, Living Heritage Forum was held under the theme of “Promoting a Culture of Peace and Facilitating Sustainable Development along the Silk Roads.” As representatives of nine-member states (in addition of Turkey and Mongolia), prominent ICH-related experts reported case studies with the contribution of the moderator, Mr. Alexandros Makarigakis, a UNESCO representative.
Following the success of the launching events, the network’s Coordinating Bureau and Governing board met on 29 October to discuss some of the initial matters involved with the newly established network. It was a private meeting held entirely online for easy and safe access for all bureau members, consisting of representatives of nine-member states. Initially headed by a representative of UNESCO-ICHCAP, the convened group adopted the network’s founding statutes and other documents. The bureau elected Mr. Jahangir Selimkhanov from Azerbaijan to be a chairperson and a representative of UNESCO-ICHCAP as a vice-chairperson.
The network aims to strengthen the capacity to safeguard ICH by sharing information and raising international awareness, ultimately fostering a culture of peace along the Silk Roads. The network is still open for membership in all Silk Roads countries. The initial membership will close on 1 December, but additional membership windows will be available in the future.