GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Minister of Education & Culture Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip will give the welcome remarks at a two-day United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) national consultation that will commence on Thursday, July 3 at the University of St. Martin (USM) from 8.30am to 5.00pm.
His Excellency Acting Governor Reynold Groeneveldt will also give welcome remarks at the opening of the two-day consultation that concludes on Friday, July 4.
The goal of the two-day consultation according to Minister of Education & Culture Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip is to involve stakeholders such as communities, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Government Organizations (GOs) in the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Convention.
The consultation will be a policy discussion to involve stakeholders and identify and assess local needs.
The Netherlands ratified the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on 15 May 2012. The Convention will be implemented, in a coordinated manner, after completion of internal legal procedures in the different States of the Kingdom, in all the kingdom’s lands and territories: The Netherlands, including the Caribbean special municipalities of Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire, and the lands of Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten.
The differences between territories, the distance among them (Europe, Northern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean), and the capacities available require that specific safeguarding measures are taken in each of them.
Considering the pertinence of the Convention’s Global Capacity Building Strategy, and in order to enable the Caribbean islands and Surinam to participate in a multi-year project tailored to their specific needs, the Netherlands has generously provided a contribution to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund established under the 2003 Convention.
After consultation with the Secretariat of the Convention and in the light of the global distribution of needs and other available resources, the Netherlands has proposed that the totality of this voluntary supplementary contribution be used for strengthening the capacities of Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean islands for implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The project will be implemented by UNESCO-Havana and UNESCO-Kingston, in close cooperation with the UNESCO Intangible Heritage Section in Paris.
“The expected result of the consultation is that stakeholders are well-informed about the benefits of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, its role in local development and its relation with other public policies, including tourism.
“It is also expected that the roles of specific governmental and/or non-governmental entities and of community representatives be clarified, both in terms of implementing the convention, as in ensuring the proper implementation of the project. In all activities, gender-equity must be ensured, as well as full youth participation,” Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip said on Wednesday.