Regional Conference on Community Engagement and Peace Building in Cultural Heritage

Mar 21, 2017

 

In the framework of the EU funded project “Confidence Building through Cultural Protection in Kosovo” implemented by UNDP, a Regional Conference on Community Engagement and Peace Building in Cultural Heritage protection was organized In Kosovo capital Pristina.

The conference aimed to reflect on the challenges and lessons learnt from the implementation of the project, present good practices from the region, and address youth engagement in cultural diversity.

In his welcoming speech, Mr. Andrew Russell, UN Development Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative said: “It great that we will be in this inspirational public space to showcase and reflect on the results, and lessons learnt of the Confidence Building Through Cultural Protection in Kosovo project. I look forward to inspiring discussions, sharing of experiences, developing new ideas and working together to strengthen a reconciliation and social cohesion, not just in Kosovo but in the region”.

The Confidence Building through Cultural Protection in Kosovo project is generously funded by the European Union office in Kosovo. Libor Chlad, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section at EU Office/EU Special Representative addressed the participants on behalf of the EU Office in Kosovo: “Kosovo has made big steps forward to ensure the effective preservation of its diverse cultural heritage, most recently with the adoption of the 10-year National Cultural Heritage Strategy. Kosovo’s diverse cultural heritage includes sites created by all peoples who have lived here throughout the centuries”. Referring to the importance of the project, Mr. Chlad emphasized: “Through projects such as this one, cultural and religious heritage has become a means of promoting dialogue and building confidence between Kosovo’s diverse communities. We have jointly improved the physical condition of heritage sites and contributed to increased public awareness about the need to respect all heritage”.

Honourable speakers at the event included Arsim Canolli, Advisor to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who focused on the work this Ministry is doing in the area of cultural heritage and H.E. Marija Kapitanović, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Kosovo who, on this occasion, shared her country’s experience in restoration of cultural heritage sites.

The conference gathered distinguished guests and experts from the region to discuss their past projects as well as present achievements of the Kosovo project on protection of cultural heritage. All stakeholders including municipal leadership, religious leaders, and Kosovo Police and EULEX representatives involved in the implementation were asked to share their experiences.

The CBCPK project is funded by the EU and focuses on renovation, beautification and rehabilitation of cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo, working in close cooperation with EULEX and the Kosovo Police Unit for the Security of Buildings and Cultural Heritage. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to improved inter-community tolerance and respect for cultural identity and heritage. The project is implemented by UNDP.