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Cultural Diversity Forum Adopts Consensus
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More than 180 senior officials and experts from home and abroad reached consensus on the respect and preservation of cultural diversity at China's 3rd Globalization Forum, which concluded in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, on Wednesday.

According to the Hangzhou Statement adopted at the forum, culture is the essence of a nation, and cultures of different nations are mutually irreplaceable and serve as the basis of cultural development in the world.

Economic globalization should not bundle different cultures into a single model that transcends individual ones, it said, and sustainable development can only be achieved in a more diversified, prosperous and harmonious world on the basis of intercultural exchange, accommodation and intermingling.

The forum agreed that every nation has the obligation to protect its cultural traditions and interests to secure its independence.

In Paris on October 20, the 33rd UNESCO General Conference adopted by overwhelming majority the Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions, the first international convention of its kind.

The forum, themed "Respect Cultural Diversity, Jointly Build a Harmonious World," was jointly sponsored by People's Daily, the Globalization Cooperation Foundation and UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity.

Mounir Bouchenaki, UNESCO's assistant director-general for culture, told the forum that when a country has a very rapid urban development, one of the challenges is balancing urban development and the preservation of historical buildings.

He said the issue of rehabilitation of historic centers only surfaced during the middle of last century in European countries as they experienced rapid urbanization.

In the 1960s, France created a law for the protection of the historic sites of Paris. Then, in Italy, there was a similar action for cities such as Florence.

It is important for China to understand and study these initiatives for the sake of the preservation of its historic centers, said Bouchenaki, and needs improved training in maintenance, protection and rehabilitation of cultural heritage.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2005)

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