It is concluded on Tuesday, the activities of the 12th Conference of Ministers of Culture of the Islamic World, hosted by the State of Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Culture and organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

The participants in the conference, which lasted for two days on September 25 and 26, sent a message of thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani/ the Emir of the country, for hosting the conference, and the continuous support it provides to joint Islamic work in the cultural field and in all fields in service of sustainable development issues in the Islamic world.

The telegram, which was read by Dr. Salem bin Mohammed Al-Malik/ Director-General of ISESCO, at the conclusion of the conference, stated that the participants included ministers and high-level officials, representatives of international organizations and institutions seize the opportunity to express their deep appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani/ the Emir of the country, may God protect and preserve him, for his successful efforts in developing national cultural work, upgrading cultural industries, spreading the concept of public art and making it available to the public, highlighting the cultural and heritage wealth of the State of Qatar, and achieving its international radiance.

The participants noted the remarkable successes achieved by the activities celebrating Doha, the Capital of Culture in the Islamic World, which were launched in 2021, and what the whole world witnessed during the wonderful organization of the World Cup was the symbiosis between the sporting and cultural dimensions and various activities to introduce the values of authentic culture that characterize the State of Qatar and the countries of the Islamic world in general.

On the closing day, the draft Doha Declaration towards renewing cultural work in the Islamic world was adopted, which included the Ministry of Culture in the Islamic world’s emphasis on commitment and work to execute the directions and pledges contained in this declaration, and develop the capabilities of the ministries and their material, technical and human resources to fulfill them and coordinate in this regard with the relevant competent authorities in the governments and with the presidency of the current edition of the conference and the General Administration of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), as well as with relevant international and regional organizations, in addition to several recommendations in the areas of renewing cultural work, protecting and valuing heritage in the Islamic world, enhancing the role of the cultural economy in achieving sustainable development goals, and developing cultural policies and keeping pace with them.

The Doha Declaration praised ISESCO’s initiatives in the fields of protecting, preserving and valuing heritage, disseminating the mechanisms and strategies of the cultural economy, establishing the concept of the purple economy and the sustainable cultural market, and unifying and developing cultural indicators in the Islamic world. He announced his support for the organization’s initiative to allocate an eighteenth development goal to be added to the development goals of the international community for the year 2030, to enhance the role of culture in development.

The announcement welcomed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s initiatives to launch the (Culture Index in the Islamic World) project in partnership with ISESCO, and the “Hajj Pilgrimage Routes” program project, which will be launched in cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Culture/ ISESCO, and the Saudi National Committee.

The announcement addressed the work on regular periodic review of national cultural plans and strategies according to the priorities of national development plans and the sustainable development goals for the year 2030, and take the necessary practical measures and initiatives to further encourage cultural creativity, renew cultural industries, and facilitate rational use of the products and mechanisms of technological progress, within the framework of preserving cultural identity in the Islamic world, as well as benefit from the successful experiences and pioneering cultural initiatives that have emerged at the Islamic and international levels during the Covid-19 pandemic, and work on regular periodic review of national cultural plans and strategies in accordance with the priorities of national development plans and the sustainable development goals for the year 2030. Taking the necessary practical actions and initiatives to further encourage cultural creativity, renew cultural industries, and facilitate rational use of the products and mechanisms of technological progress, within the framework of preserving cultural identity in the Islamic world, and benefit from the successful experiences and pioneering cultural initiatives that emerged at the Islamic and international levels during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing digital cultural alternatives that brought the sources of culture closer to the general public throughout the periods of health closure, as well as working to integrate digital works with traditional cultural products, drawing on the pioneering joint initiative between ISESCO and the Muslim World League, represented by the International Exhibition and Museum of the Prophet’s Biography.

The declaration called for developing integrated plans and allocating the necessary financial and technical resources to digitize works and cultural products of various types and forms and make them available to the broad public.

The declaration confirmed the creation and development of specialized digital platforms in the various languages of the Islamic peoples and in the most widely spread international languages to facilitate access to Islamic cultural content in its various forms.

In the field of protecting and valorizing heritage in the Islamic world, the Doha Declaration emphasized strengthening partnership and coordination with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to ensure that the competent national authorities benefit from ISESCO’s expertise in the field of heritage preservation and facilitating the registration of its archaeological sites.

The declaration called for benefiting from the Qatari experience in the field of heritage preservation and investing in its development dimension, through the pioneering initiatives accomplished by the State of Qatar in the field of establishing and developing various museums, organizing cultural exhibitions, enhancing the concept of public art, and creating artistic monuments inspired by local and international heritage, and making them available and displaying them free of charge to the public in public places, to spread artistic awareness, preserve heritage, and consolidate it in the memory of successive generations. In addition to supporting ISESCO in its initiative to prepare a strategy to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property in the Islamic world, and to work seriously to protect cultural property from crimes of illicit trafficking and to develop plans to preserve, protect and recover this property, as well as establishing a legislative framework for the system of living human treasures that includes identification and recognition of holders of intangible cultural heritage.

In the field of enhancing the role of the cultural economy in achieving the goals of sustainable development, the declaration supports ISESCO’s initiative to popularize the mechanisms and strategies of the cultural economy, establish the concept of the purple economy, the sustainable cultural market, and develop the cultural infrastructure. Adopting the new mechanisms proposed by ISESCO to develop its program for the Capitals of Culture in the Islamic World, and praising the quality of the activities of the programs celebrating the Capitals of Culture in the Islamic World that were concluded between the two editions of the conference (2019-2022), in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Tunis, Bissau, Doha, Rabat, and Cairo.

The declaration confirmed supporting business incubators, especially in the field of cultural investment, training young people on administrative governance and facing competition, and increasing networking of museums in the Islamic world to enable audiences to make virtual visits to these museums.

As for the field of developing cultural policies and keeping pace with them, the declaration called for support for the initiative of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ISESCO to unify and develop cultural indicators in the Islamic world, and to support ISESCO’s proposal to allocate an eighteenth development goal to be added to the development goals of the international community for the year 2030, in order to enhance the role of culture in development.

Salem bin Mohammed Al-Malik/ Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), said in his speech during the closing day of the 12th Conference of Ministers of Culture of the Islamic World: “Today we affirm the commitment of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to implementing the vision, reinforced by you and your confidence, it will continue implementing its approach of great openness in support of all creativity, reaching every hope, and stimulating all intelligence, promoting the initiatives of youth, women, children, and people with special needs, as a duty required by the possible preference for them to achieve their cultural aspirations.”

He confirmed that ISESCO will not hesitate to explore the prospects of the future, anticipating its prospects and taking into account its requirements on the paths of member states’ paths toward their desired, bright tomorrow, God willing.

The declaration welcomed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s expressed aspiration to host the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (MondiaCult) in its next edition in 2025, and called on member states to support the Kingdom in hosting this major international conference, and to participate extensively in it, contributing to the definition of its importance and goals and to the success of its work, thus enhancing the position of the Islamic world in the international cultural scene.

The third working session witnessed the heads of delegations delivering their speeches, where visions and rich discussions were exchanged in order to renew cultural work in the Islamic world, and agree on the means and mechanisms to achieve this goal.