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Irina Bokova Promotes the Arts for Sustainable Cities

On 22 October, Irina Bokova opened the Beijing Forum on 'Arts – Shaping the Future of the City,' with Honourable Mr Yang Xiao Chao, Vice Mayor of the Beijing Municipal Government and Excellency Mr Hao Ping, Vice Minister for Education of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the National Commission of People’s Republic of China for UNESCO.

Held in the Dadu Museum of Art, China’s newest private art museum, the Beijing Forum brought together municipal authorities, experts and artists from across the world, to explore the role of the arts as a driver for urban sustainability.

“This requires well-planned, well-designed cities, drawing on sustainable ecosystems,” said the Director-General. “We need – as importantly -- cities that safeguard cultural heritage and the diversity of cultural expressions, that support creative industries.”

“This is the importance of the arts,” continued Irina Bokova. “The arts reflect identities and provide energy to renew them – they are sources of strength and wellsprings of innovation, for individuals and wider communities."

Irina Bokova said that this is essential at a time when all societies are seeking new sources of sustainability and Member States shape a new global development agenda to follow 2015.

In this framework, Director-General signed a strategic partnership agreement with Mr Dong Donghua, Chairman of the Board of the Changqing Investment Group. The Agreement represents 2 million USD and will run until 2017.

The objective of the partnership is to promote culture and development through initiatives and activities, including the Beijing Forum for the Arts and City, to strengthen the role of culture as a driver of sustainable development, mutual understanding and respect.

“I am convinced the private sector has an important role to play in fostering new models of cooperation to support the arts,” declared the Director-General. “This is why I am pleased to sign this agreement and look forward to taking this partnership forward.”

The Changqing Investment Group Ltd. is a leading Chinese financial, real estate and culture private sector company, supporting major cultural initiatives including artistic performances, media publishing, painting and calligraphy collections as well as exhibitions.