The meeting of the International Committee of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at its 15th ordinary session was held at the headquarters of the United Nations “UNESCO”, headed by His Excellency Dr. Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Hanzab, permanent representative of the State of Qatar to UNESCO; representing the Arab Group. Representatives of the states parties to this agreement participated in the meeting, which continues until tomorrow, “Friday”. The State of Qatar was represented in this virtual meeting by Ms. Maryam Yassin Al-Hammadi, Director of the Department of Culture and Arts at the Ministry of Culture. Ms. Maryam Yassin Al-Hammadi, Director of the Department of Culture and Arts at the Ministry of Culture, praised, in a speech, the efforts spent by the UNESCO in achieving the desired goals through the executive processes carried out by countries in the form of continuous practices, initiatives and activities, stressing that the State of Qatar has adopted cultural diversity as a general culture that applies to all fields, especially the cultural field, where cultural institutions present joint cultural events such as the Doha International Book Fair, which was held last month where 45 foreign publishing houses and 319 publishing houses from Arab countries participated in it, with the participation of 37 Arab and foreign countries. The Fair served all groups, children and women, nationalities, religions and languages, and 9 European, Asian and Arab embassies to present their different cultures. She also added that since its accession to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2009, the State of Qatar has been working to promote cultural diversity. Among these efforts by Qatar are the celebration of Doha as the capital of Arab culture in 2010, followed by the establishment of the Doha Forum for Arab and International Relations in Qatar 2011, after which the Cultural Years Program began in 2012, the first decade of which will be marked this year, as the beginning was with the launch of the Qatar-Japan Year of Culture in 2012, then Qatar-United Kingdom 2013, Brazil 2014, Turkey 2015, China 2016, Germany 2017, Russia 2018, and India 2019. France 2020, and the United States of America 2021, pointing out that this year will witness the establishment of the year of culture with a group of countries to coincide with hosting the World FIFA Cup -Qatar 2022, to include approximately 27 countries.
Moreover, Ms. Al-Hammadi referred to several initiatives by the State of Qatar aimed at promoting cultural diversity including the establishment of the Katara Center for Public Diplomacy in the context of spreading culture and awareness on the importance of friendship among nations through public diplomacy and building bridges of communication between nations. This is in addition to the opening of a number of cultural centers to promote dialog and communication with civilizations through the Doha Center for Interfaith Dialog and the Interfaith Complex, the Qatar Committee for the Alliance of Civilizations, and the Qatar International Prize for Dialog among Civilizations, in addition to launching prizes such as the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding, noting that all cultural centers offer various cultural, artistic and heritage activities that enhance this diversity, along with the centers that aim to feature the State of Qatar and its heritage to the world.
Finally, she noted that the Qatari initiatives did not include culture only. They, rather, included many fields such as health and education, which are held under the umbrella of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, with the aim of supporting cultural diversity and placing education and health above all, during which the winners from all countries of the world in these areas are honored so that the human being is the most important element regardless of any ethnicity or difference; referring in this regard also to the Education Above All initiative, which provides education for the children of a large number of countries all over the world.