UNESCO Director-General pays tribute to the intangible cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan for sustainable development and peace

On 20 March, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, met with Mr Karganbek Samakov, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic and Chair of the National Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Mr Samakov spoke of the inestimable value of the intangible cultural heritage for his country, highlighting its variety and the fundamental role that it plays in the social cohesion and sustainable development of the country’s diverse communities.

Ms Bokova welcomed the active role played by Kyrgyzstan in the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and in particular its recent election to the Intergovernmental Committee. She expressed her conviction that investment in the intangible cultural heritage was in fact an investment in sustainable development and peace-building.

During the meeting, the Director-General presented a certificate of validation on the inscription in 2012 of the “Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdak, art of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets” on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and wished the country every success in its current application for the possible inscription of the Kyrgyz Epic Trilogy Manas, Semetey, Seytek on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2013, at the eighth session of the Intergovernmental Committee, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Lastly, Ms Bokova highlighted the considerable progress made by Kyrgyzstan in the fields of education and science.

In that connection, Mr Samakov extended his deepest gratitude to UNESCO for its support to the education system in his country, focusing on areas affected by conflict, and recalled, in that regard, the success of the UNESCO International Forum on post-conflict education, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2012.

The Deputy Speaker underscored, moreover, the importance of education for diversity and living together, and appealed to UNESCO to support the revision of educational policies in his country, in particular in order to take better account of the teaching of diversity, human rights, a culture of peace and non-violence and gender equality.