Ilsur Metshin, Kazan Mayor and President of the UN Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA), delivered a video message at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on the Rome Charter on the right to fully and freely participate in cultural life. From October 1 to 3, Rome hosts the institutional launch of the Charter and a discussion on ways to develop sustainable cities and communities throughout participation in cultural life.
Preparatory work for developing the Rome Charter on cultural rights began a few months ago. It was developed by the UCLG world organization.
According to Ilsur Metshin, the Rome Charter on participation in cultural rights provides a basis for further development and opens up new opportunities for protecting heritage, promoting creative ideas and cultural diversity.
"The impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector being felt throughout the world: empty cultural heritage sites, canceled events, closed cultural facilities, and a significantly affected cultural tourism sector. This influence is social, economic, and political – it affects the basic rights of people, the social rights of cultural workers, and issues of cultural diversity protection. The crisis worsens inequality and makes our communities vulnerable", - the Mayor of Kazan said.
He noted that the pandemic influences all aspects of everyday lives, including the need for culture. In this context, the Rome Charter offers the key to developing concrete actions and serves as a guide for responding to new cultural challenges.
"Culture can and must unite us, strengthen international solidarity, restore confidence and hope. In such difficult times, the power of culture must be used as a Foundation for sustainability, creativity, and social cohesion. It should promote cooperation between cities and strengthen ties between people and communities", - said the UNACLA President and expressed hope that the new Charter will help make cities more inclusive, fair and sustainable.
In addition, Kazan Mayor thanked international experts, in particular Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General, as well as the administration of Rome, for developing the Rome Charter on cultural rights.