TIRANA, February 18, 2009 – The United Nations and the Governments of Albania and Spain launched today the joint programme under “Delivering as One UN” initiative on Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development. The programme aims at boosting the country`s social and economic development through its rich culture and heritage.
Funded by the Government of Spain through the UN Spanish Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund, the Programme is being implemented within a two-year period jointly by UNESCO and UNDP, in close partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Education, the Institute of Cultural Monuments, the National Tourism Agency, local and regional governments, universities and civil society organizations will also be involved.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania who was in attendance noted amongst others that: “Albania`s Culture and Heritage are so rich and unique that they can perfectly serve as engines for social and economic development: Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a rich tradition in arts and crafts, an exemplary religious and cultural tolerance – all this works towards the strengthening of Albania`s national identity on the one hand, but also creates opportunities for increased investments.”
The Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development Programme (CHSED) supports the efforts of the Government of Albania in harnessing the potential of Albania`s cultural heritage in order to strengthen the country`s national identity create economic opportunities for poor and rural communities, enhance investment, and position the country positively in Europe and the rest of the world.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Albania Mrs. Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett highlighted: “The Joint Programme which we are launching today will explore and open new ways for Public Private Partnerships in cultural heritage - bringing together the state and business sector to make cultural monuments accessible, vibrant and living places which offer both lasting educational and aesthetic experiences to their visitors and sustainable sources of income for their communities.”
The Ambassador of Spain to Albania, Mr. Manuel Montobbio in his speech highlighted: “The fact that Spain is promoting the launching of this programme is based on the conviction that culture needs development and development needs culture. The conviction, as well, that Albania`s transition is, among others, a cultural transition both internally and internationally, which needs an opportunity to step forward in the construction of its cultural institutions, human resources, assets and policies.” After explaining the convictions and commitments reflected by the programme, he concluded by saying that if in a famous speech, Martin Luther King said “I have a dream”, we have a project to make a dream come true.”
With a budget of USD 3, 2 million, the programme will assist cultural institutions in Albania to strengthen their capacities in the fields of culture and heritage management, and to identify new mechanisms for the sustainable financing of cultural sites and institutions.
The CHSED Programme will re-conceptualize the National History Museum in Tirana by transforming it into a modern cultural institution, more attractive to both foreigners and Albanians alike. The programme aims to improve the management and governance structures of Albania`s archeological parks, namely Apollonia and Antigonea, while taking into consideration their unique surrounding environment and the engagement of neighboring communities.
Mr. Engelbert Ruoss, Director of UNESCO Office in Venice (BRESCE) amongst others underlined “The target of the MDG-F project is not the implementation of activities, but rather the creation of the added value for people. The broad range of commitments all over Albania and abroad, will strengthen the image of the Albanian culture and enhance the opportunities related to “quality economy”,
Within the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN initiative, through a range of projects involving youth, education and the media, the CHSED Programme will assist Albania in its efforts to support concrete steps in further rooting the principles of intercultural dialogue and religious tolerance. These efforts will be complemented by the production of resource materials on Albanian culture and the strengthening of Albania`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs capacities to promote Albania`s culture abroad.
Albania has been selected, along with seven other countries – the only one in Europe – to test a worldwide programme of UN reform. The “Delivering as One UN” Initiative brings UN Agencies together – with one programme, one budget and one leader.
A video clip from the launch event featuring traditional tectonic singers can be viewed here
Photo: The UN Resident Coordinator in Albania Mrs. Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett speaking during the launch ceremony.
For more information please contact:
Mr. Stephan Doempke, Programme Coordinator, Cultural Heritage for Social and Economic Development Programme at email@example.com; and/or at 069 40 32 609
Nora Kushti, Communications Officer, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or at 0692090253.