Cultural revival strategy presented at UNESCO virtual meeting

By Minahil Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education and Special Initiative Shafqat Mahmood, during first virtual meeting held by UNESCO at its Headquarters in Paris, outlined Pakistan’s strategy to mitigate the impact of the COVID19 crisis on the cultural sector of Pakistan.
This was the first virtual meeting of its kind held by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which was attended by over 110 Cultural Ministers from around the world to discuss and mitigate impact of COVID 19 crisis on cultural sector.
Shafqat Mahmood in his country statement briefed the meeting on priority areas of Pakistan’s response strategy to protect and preserve cultural heritage and outlined steps taken by Pakistan to mitigate impact of COVID 19 on tangible and intangible cultural heritage, creative industries, SMEs, museums, performing arts, cultural tourism and artistic education.
He proposed launch of national, regional and international level strategies under the auspices of UNESCO to measure the impact of the COVID 19 on culture sectors specially in vulnerable and developing countries. He also stressed the need for allocation of enhanced budget support for the artists and cultural professionals; and for revival of cultural ecosystem badly affected due to COVID 19 lockdown.
The Minister said that Pakistan had adopted smart lockdown strategy to gradually open certain carefully selected businesses.
Industry while enforcing strict and comprehensive Safety Protocols to protect workers and their business clients which will certainly help in revival of the badly suffered cultural sector due to COVID 19.