|YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair (C) speaking at the Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum in the Asia Pacific Region held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, recently. The forum ran from May 9 to 11. Picture: Courtesy MCYS|
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 12 May 2012 - THE protection of cultural diversity is a priority for Brunei Darussalam, stated the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports on Friday, during the Cultural Diversity Ministerial Forum in the Asia Pacific Region held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah remarked that cultural diversity is a source of pride for the nation, according to a press release.
‘‘Despite being a small country with a population of 400 thousand, we are proud to state that Brunei Darussalam can still offer cultural diversity that reflects the variety of ethnic groups which make-up the composition of our population,’’ he said.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair elaborated that the nation also recognises the importance of cultural diversity towards generating economic opportunities through creative industries.
‘‘However, what’s more important is that culture is not only about the economy. It’s more than that. Culture is the ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ of a country. Moreover, culture is also symbolic of a country’s national identity,’’ he commented.
The three-day forum, which commenced on Wednesday is aimed at achieving the main objective concept of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
In addition, the forum is also intended to encourage the discussion and exchange of ideas among the countries within Asia Pacific. Among the issues highlighted during the forum related to efforts for the integration of cultural elements in the agenda of national development and the importance of governmental involvement towards supporting the artists within the growing cultural industry.
The forum also underlined policies that encourage the progress of cultural diversity in Asia Pacific, as well as the role of women towards the diversification of cultural expression.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair also had the opportunity to conduct a courtesy call on the Bangladeshi Minister of Youth and Sports, Mohd Ahad Ali Sarkar, at the Pan Pacific Sonargoan Hotel. During the courtesy call, both ministers discussed views on bilateral cooperation in the field of youth and sports.
The forum was also attended by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos and senior officers.
The Brunei Times
Note: The forum was held at Bangla Ruposhi Hotel and was attended by 33 nations in the Asia Pacific.