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4. July 2014.

Launch of Consultations on ''Culture for Development'' in the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda

Bosnia and Herzegovina has been selected by the United Nations Development Group (UNDP) for the continuation of the second round of consultations focusing on six topics as part of the global and thematic consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been appointed leading agencies in charge of consultations on culture and development that were officially launched today in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the UN House in Sarajevo.

The goal of consultations is to enable different actors to present their vision of culture, its integration in the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda, based on human rights and in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to present possibilities for the implementation of this agenda. Upon completion of consultations, participants will adopt a series of conclusions and recommendations for follow-up activities.

''What attracts people from around the world is the heart of Balkans and its cultural diversity. That is what we need to preserve in the attempt of defining our belonging,'' said the UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yuri Afanasiev. ''This is also an opportunity for citizens and cultural activists to participate in the global discussion.''

The Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sredoje Nović, referred to the necessity of including society at large in culture preservation activities, with a focus on education.  

''I believe that culture in this country should be instilled at pre-school institutions. It is thus necessary to start from scratch and make a step forward. Only 13% of children attend pre-school institutions,'' outlines Nović. ''We have to instil more in children. Education and culture have to go hand in hand.'' 

''The consultations session aims at an exchange of different experiences and opinions on how culture contributes to the development of a country,'' stated the UNFPA Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Doina Bologa, while speaking on the mainstreaming of cultural differences and cultural dialogue in education and culture. ''High-quality education was assessed as the second priority in the context of priorities of the Post-2015 Agenda in Bosnia and Herzegovina.''

The Director of the UNESCO Office in Sarajevo, Siniša Šešum, stated that culture could not be viewed outside the context, but rather through an interdisciplinary approach. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, culture constitutes approximately 5.72% of GDP, whereas as many as 4.75% of the total number of workers are active in the sector of culture.

Consultation workshops will be held in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar, and they are structured in six thematic fields: Culture and Education, Culture and Poverty Reduction, Culture, Environment and Climate Change, Culture, Inclusion and Reconciliation, Culture, Sustainable Cities and Urbanisation, Culture, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.
The project duration is June to September 2014.

The first of the six mentioned workshops, Culture and Education, was held immediately upon the official opening.  

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