UNESCO opens arts education conference in Seoul

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : May 25, 2010, 11:06 | Updated : May 25, 2010, 11:06
UNESCO opened in Seoul on Tuesday its quadrennial conference aimed at promoting arts education, bringing together about 2,000 officials, experts and activists from around the world to build international consensus toward that goal.

The four-day gathering, following its inaugural event in Portugal in 2006, is being held here on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of South Korea's membership in the U.N. cultural body.

"Ensuring that populations have access to all the many different art forms through education is the important purpose of this conference," Irina Bokova, the UNESCO director-general, said in an opening ceremony at the COEX convention center in southern Seoul.

"Our organization will also play a key role in steering international consensus toward the establishment of a set of priority goals on the development of arts education."

Under the slogan of "Arts for Society, Education for Creativity," cultural minister and vice minister-level officials, scholars and NGO representatives will hold a series of discussions on pressing issues, such as arts education in and out of school, building regional partnership for educational development and ensuring learning opportunities in conflict regions. The participants come from 129 of UNESCO's member countries.

Bokova praised Korea's leading cinema production as evidence of the country's dedication to arts, naming renowned directors like Lee Chang-dong, Park Chan-wook and Kim Ki-duk. Lee won the best screenplay award at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which closed on Sunday.

"In this age of new media and new art forms, Korea is also renowned for its filmmaking," the first female UNESCO director-general said. "Film is also a thriving cultural industry in this country, and one that speaks to Korea's population, as well as the rest of the world."//Yonhap

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