JIS News

Mayors and Local Government representatives attending yesterday’s (September 15) opening session of a Local Government Administrators International Workshop, in downtown Kingston, were urged to target substantial goals and cooperate to protect and promote their cultural heritage.
Mayor of Gangneung, Republic of Korea, Myeong-hee Choi, made the call in a message at a workshop, which is being hosted by the Inter-city Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network (ICCN), jointly with UNESCO and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
“I believe now is the time for us to set up substantial goals and start cooperating with each other,” Mayor Choi told the session, which was also attended by the Governor-General, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, as well as Mayors and other Local Government officers from several countries.
“I hope this workshop can be a chance to discuss and share a more specific direction for our mutual cooperation,” Mayor Choi suggested.
“We also need to develop cultural and educational programmes more actively, in relation to Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for the enrichment of people’s lives,” he noted.
He announced plans for the first World Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival to be held in Korea in 2012.
“This will be a kind of global festival. I am convinced that this festival will be enough to attract the attention of the world on the values of Intangible Cultural Heritage and on the ICCN,” he argued.
“It will help to promote your cultural assets at the global level, and will lead to local development,” he added. However, he cautioned that the success of the festival will depend on the creative ideas and the positive cooperation of participating countries.
“I hope you can, actively and openly, discuss the roles of Local Governments and communities, and share constructive ideas during the workshop,” he admonished the guests, as he challenged them to turn the current global economic crisis into an opportunity to achieve their goals.
The Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network (ICCN) was formally founded at the 2008 International Round Table of Mayors, in Cairo, Egypt, for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as initiated at the 2004 International Round Table in Gangneung. The Roundtable is currently chaired by the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie.
Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), or “Living Heritage”, encompasses many traditions, practices and customs. These include stories that are told, celebrated family events, community gatherings, language, songs, information on natural spaces, healing traditions, foods, holidays, beliefs and cultural practices.

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