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The 2024 International Youth Dialogue on World Cultural Heritage Protection and Tours successfully held

BEIJING, June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — From June 12 to 16, under the guidance of the China International Communications Group (CICG) and the Information Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, the 2024 International Youth Dialogue on World Cultural Heritage Protection and Tours were successfully held by the China Center for International Communication Development (CCICD) of CICG and the Publicity Department of the CPC Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture Committee. At the event, Zi Zhenhua, Member of the Standing Committee and Director-General of the Organization Department of the CPC Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture Committee, delivered a welcome speech. Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Representative of UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for East Asia, Qin Changwei, Secretary-General of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, Lu Cairong, former Vice President of CICG and Secretary of the CPC CICG Committee, Lai Yong, Deputy Director of the Information Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, Jose Diaz, chargé d’affaires at the Colombian embassy in China, and Lu Qiong, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Chinese Cultural Relics Society, delivered speeches respectively. The event also invited nearly 180 participants including envoys, international media reporters and youth from nearly 20 countries such as Italy, South Africa, and Russia, heads of relevant departments from the Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, and reporters from state-run, Yunnan provincial and Honghe prefectural media outlets.

In his speech, Prof. Shahbaz Khan said that cultural diversity and creativity are natural driving forces for innovation, and young people are the main innovators. The encouragement and support for young people will help unlock the innovation potential of the entire society, injecting continuous momentum into sustainable development. UNESCO has long been committed to promoting international cultural exchanges and cooperation, focusing on and encouraging young people’s participation in the protection of world cultural and natural heritage for the sustainable development of humanity.

Qin Changwei emphasized that young people are full of vitality and are the most open and inclusive group in society. Over the years, China has carried out education programs to enhance young people’s awareness and ability of cultural heritage protection. The Chinese National Commission for UNESCO will work with all parties to support their participation in world heritage protection.

Lu Cairong pointed out that young people are an important force in protecting and passing on the world cultural and natural heritage. To promote this work, we must deepen international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation to jointly build a dialogue and cooperation network for global cultural heritage protection. We must promote the in-depth integration of culture and technology, empowering cultural heritage with digital technology. We should build an international youth exchange platform to contribute young people’s strength to this meaningful undertaking.

Lai Yong said that in recent years, Yunnan Province has earnestly acted on General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions on cultural heritage protection. He hoped to take this event as an opportunity to deepen cooperation with all parties. Based on the “International Youth Exchange and Field Learning Center”, he vowed to create a “1+1+X” model comprising the Field Learning Center, the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, and various activities, in a bid to strengthen cultural exchanges and mutual learning and promote the understanding among different civilizations.

Jose Diaz said that engaging young people in the protection of world cultural heritage will help cultivate a new generation of guardians of cultural treasures and promote exchanges and cooperation among different cultures. China actively promotes international cooperation in cultural heritage protection, and has played a fundamental role in this area, setting a good example for other countries. He hoped to deepen cooperation between his country and China in this field and consolidate their friendship and partnership.

Lu Qiong said that world cultural heritage is a valuable treasure shared by all mankind. This event, which focuses on world cultural heritage protection, is the best action to implement President Xi Jinping’s important instructions. It will surely pull strengths from all sides for the scientific protection of world cultural heritage. The Chinese Cultural Relics Society will actively perform its new cultural mission and play a better role in the efforts to protect, utilize, inherit and promote world cultural heritage.

During the event, the “International Youth Exchange and Field Learning Center” jointly built by the Information Office of the Yunnan Provincial People’s Government and the CCICD of CICG was officially unveiled. The base aims to further promote the participation of international youth in the protection of world cultural and natural heritage and create an open, inclusive and innovative platform for youth exchange. It will be located in Yuanyang County of the Honghe Hani and YiAutonomous Prefecture.

After the unveiling ceremony, the Honghe Initiative was issued to advocate for the global youth to exert their leadership in the endeavor to protect, carry on, and innovate in the world’s natural and cultural treasures for humanity, highlighting exchange and mutual learning among civilizations.

At the event, the launch ceremony of the Third “Lovable China” International Short Video Contest was also held with three themes: “Chasing Dream in China“, “Diversified China” and “Smart China”. It was expected that with wonderful short video works, the international contestants could explore and display China’s diverse cultures and development achievements, telling the story of China from the perspective of the international youth, and showing the world a true China in a multi-dimensional and panoramic way.

During the roundtable discussion, youth representatives from the China World Heritage Cultural Center of the China Academy of Cultural Heritage, China Arab TV in Dubai, Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (APPC), Vision Intelligence (Anhui), Yuni Culture and Arts Heritage Center and other institutions exchanged ideas on a range of topics. They talked about cultural heritage management systems, digital protection of world cultural heritage, the important role of media in the protection, and so on, contributing young people’s wisdom to this grand cause.

After the event, over 50 Chinese and foreign guests went on to visit several world cultural heritage sites, including the Dongfengyun Town in Mile City, Honghe Prefecture, and the Duoyishu rice terraces, Azheke Village, and Hani History and Culture Museum in Yuanyang County. They all spoke highly of the Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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