President and Secretary General of UCLG-Eurasia delivered a video message during the opening ceremony of the International Conference of UCLG on the Rome Charter of cultural rights. The event took place on October 1-3, 2020, in Rome (Italy). Besides, the online streaming was available on YouTube, and many speakers addressed the meeting via the Zoom platform.
The preparatory work on the development of the Rome Charter of cultural rights had started several months before the COVID-19 pandemic. The document was designed by the UCLG World Organization jointly with 22 cities, 15 organizations and 47 experts from all continents.
According to Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin, the Rome Charter provides the basis for further development and opens up new opportunities for protecting heritage, promoting creative ideas and cultural diversity.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector is being felt throughout the world: empty cultural heritage sites, canceled events, closed cultural facilities, and a significantly affected cultural tourism sector. This influence is social, economic, and political – it affects basic rights of people, social rights of cultural workers, and issues of cultural diversity protection. The crisis worsens inequality and makes our communities vulnerable”, said President of UCLG-Eurasia Ilsur Metshin. He also added that on one’s own it would be impossible to overcome this crisis and cities would not be able to get back to normal life.
Secretary General of UCLG-Eurasia Rasikh Sagitov acknowledged the contribution of Coordinator of the UCLG’s Committee on Culture Jordi Pascual in the development of this initiative and the successful activity of the Committee in general. “Jordi Pascual is the inspiration of one of the most successful committees of UCLG – the Committee on Culture. I am convinced that with the support of Rome all provisions of the Charter will be implemented to full extent,” Rasikh Sagitov said.
The Charter is closely linked to the Decalogue of the UCLG Presidency and defines culture as one of the key priorities of the organizations’ advocacy work in the coming years.