UNESCO hails the importance of music as a force for building peace
On the occasion of the 10th edition of the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival that was held under UNESCO’s auspices in Samarkand from 25 to 30 August 2015, Mr Eric Falt, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, paid a visit to Uzbekistan.
In his opening address at the Festival, Mr Falt highlighted the role of music “as the universal language of cohesion, embodying the power of living heritage to unite humanity around shared values and aspirations.” “This has never been so important”, Mr Falt added, “than in these times of turbulence, when culture is under attack. Art is especially essential today, as a force for sharing passions and building peace”. This is of particular significance as the international community celebrates the 70th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations and UNESCO.
Mr Falt commended the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for his excellent initiative to organize the Festival that has, since its establishment in 1997, grown into an important international gathering of musicologists, composers, performers and bearers of musical traditions from Uzbekistan, Asia and the other continents.
In the framework of the festival, Mr Falt participated in the opening of an international conference on Shared Musical Culture of the Peoples of the Orient together with Mr Adham Ikramov, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Bahodyr Ahmedov, Minister of Culture and Sport, and Mr Akbar Shukurov, Mayor of Samarkand. In his opening remarks, Mr Falt expressed his thanks to the government of Uzbekistan for its longstanding commitment to preserve and promote all forms of intangible cultural heritage, including music. “Around the world there is increasing recognition that these cherished traditions are sources of wellbeing, social cohesion, and sustainable development. This commitment draws on values that have deep roots in the society of Uzbekistan: the values of respect for traditions and customs; the determination to safeguard and pass them on and the willingness to deepen mutual understanding among peoples within the region and beyond, through the promotion of intangible cultural heritage. […] Together with Uzbekistan we believe that intangible cultural heritage is a source of creativity, a force for renewal and innovation. Building on the past, our vision is forward-looking – a vision of sustainability. I am convinced that intangible cultural heritage is one of our strongest assets to build the future we want for all’.
During his stay in Uzbekistan, Mr Falt met Mr Ulugbek Inoyatov, Minister of Public Education; Mr Botir Usmanov, Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, and paid a visit to the UNESCO Tashkent Office where he also met Mr Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator. Throughout his stay in Uzbekistan, Mr Falt was accompanied by Mr Alisher Ikramov, Secretary-General of the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO.