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Resolution on Importance of Respect for Culture and Cultural Interchange
(Japan)


THE TWELFTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM (APPF):

Recalling the frequent occurrence in recent years of destructive acts against culture and international terrorist incidents, as epitomized by the wanton destruction of Buddhist statues at Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in March 2001, the terrorist attacks in the United States in September of the same year, and the looting of the Baghdad Museum in April 2003;

Noting that the globalization of information and economies conversely stimulates interest in other cultures and ethnic groups and that ethnic and religious conflicts are arising around the world;

Emphasizing that in order for humanity to enjoy an affluent and peaceful life, it is essential to create an environment that will allow for the coexistence of different points of view regarding religion, cultures and values;

Mindful that the arts that have been fostered through endless competition and interaction have the power to transcend the obstacles such as language barriers and national boundaries to appeal directly to the hearts of people; and

Noting that the International Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted by the general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on October 17, 2003;

RESOLVES TO:

  1. Call upon all countries and regions, with the aim of the promotion of mutual understanding and the achievement of coexistence and symbiosis that transcend cultural differences, to make efforts so that people can spread understanding of their cultures and sense of values beyond generations and to endeavor to build a society in which people understand the cultures and sense of values of others and have a mutual respect for heterogeneity ;
  2. Call upon all countries and regions to make efforts to further promote artistic interchange that symbolizes international friendship and has the effect of both contributing to the mutual enhancement of cultural quality and improving mutual cultural understanding ;
  3. Express maximum support to the requests to all member countries for taking safeguarding measures for newly stolen Iraqi cultural treasures, including prohibition of their import, in the Resolution 1483 containing the removal of all economic sanctions on Iraq adopted by the UN Security Council on May 22 of this year, and request that, in countries or regions where the security situation is unstable due to regime collapse and other factors, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, cooperative systems centered on UNESCO be established in order to preserve precious cultural heritage that should be considered the treasure of all humankind from theft or destruction, as well as preserve the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of countries throughout the world; and
  4. Call upon each APPF countries in above context to promptly ratify the International Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage adopted at the general conference of UNESCO on October 17 of this year, which specifies the importance of both intangible cultural heritage and the ensuring of respect for mutual understanding, so as to ensure that it takes effect at an early date.