Some 200 personalities from design and fashion, crafts, culture and international business will attend, including Alber Elbaz, Martine Assouline, Cristina Owen-Jones, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, Françoise Montenay, Sadika Keskes, Aïssa Dione and Farida Khelfa. Ministers of Culture from Bahrain (Sheikha May bint Mohammed Al Khalifa), Colombia (Paula Moreno), Italy (Sandro Bondi), Jordan (Sabri Rbeihat) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska) will also be present, with Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO.
Providing a platform for exchanges and meetings, the Forum will highlight culture’s major role in economic and social development. For the first Forum, UNESCO has chosen to explore the relationship between crafts and the design and fashion industry. Long considered polar opposites, they share the same values of excellence, innovation and creativity.
Representatives of top international media - ABC-Luxe, CNBC Italy, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Corriere della Sera, Le Figaro, and Time Magazine – have volunteered to participate as moderators of the various debates.
The purpose of the Forum is to demonstrate the potential and the dynamism of the culture sector, measured not only in terms of its percentage of GDP (7% of the global GDP), but also its ability to transform societies. A source of employment and income as well as human and social development, culture is a key component of the economy.
“On the same scale as UNESCO’s high-profile operations to promote the safeguarding of world heritage, the Organization is launching a new initiative to bring together the private sector, decision-makers and creators to examine the role of culture in development,” explained Mr Matsuura.
At the close of the Forum, UNESCO is expected to announce the creation of a new International Chair for performance in the cultural industries, as well as a laboratory for cultural innovation for developing countries. This first Forum is organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Italian government and local and municipal authorities.
*Forum venue: Villa Reale, 2052, Monza MI, Italy
(Source:Media advisory No. 2009 - 48)