Symposium of the Culture Ministers' Conference in Leipzig
The aim is to initiate a broad discussion surrounding the question of how civil society can make use of world heritage more comprehensively than before while also protecting it at the same time. It will also be discussed how world heritage can be better used for creating a cultural identity of the peoples of the world, and in so doing play a part in promoting world peace. In this way, the symposium aims to fulfill the responsibility and obligation that Germany entered into by ratifying the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
Those attending the two-day symposium include representatives of the lower house of the German Parliament (Bundestag), the Federal Foreign Office, UNESCO, state ministries and the umbrella associations of the municipalities and rural districts. Representatives of the world heritage sites and the field of monument conservation will also take part.
The "driving force" behind the symposium are the 5 Cs of credibility, effective conservation, capacity building, communication and community building. These were defined in the "Budapest Declaration on World Heritage" in 2002 and at the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee held in New Zealand in 2007. Until now, however, they have only been implemented to a limited extent. Experts fear the inflationary use of the UNESCO World Heritage title. This poses the risk that the "brand", which draws crowds of tourists and is a boon to those involved in the conservation of monuments, will lose its credibility. This is another reason to raise awareness of the risks among the symposium attendants, and motivate them to apply the 5 Cs.
The symposium is organised by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Cultural Foundation of Germany's Federal States, the German Commission for UNESCO, the German Cities Council and the UNESCO Chair in World Heritage Studies at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg.
Website of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (in German)