On February 10, 2017 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, President of the National Commission, Vladimir Makei, chaired a meeting of the National Commission for UNESCO.
V.Makei provided an overview of the Commission’s work throughout 2016 and focused on some strategic areas for short-term priority action.
The meeting featured a discussion on major activities carried out by the Commission’s thematic committees in the context of the 500-Anniversary of Belarusian book printing. As this landmark Anniversary has been included in the UNESCO list of memorable dates, it is widely celebrated by the entire international community.
A project titled “Heritage of Fracysk Skaryna” to be realized with UNESCO’s support by the State Art College of Glebov both in Belarus and abroad was presented to the National Commission.
V.Makei pointed out that “the project successfully combines both national and international dimensions of this memorable event. The fact that children and youth stand as the project’s main stakeholders highlights both the historical significance of Skaryna’s heritage and its orientation on the future”.
The participants have also considered a set of issues related to the work on national nominations into the UNESCO lists of world heritage and intangible heritage. The list includes four Belarus’ sites – the Belavezha Forest, the Mir Castle Complex, the Architectural, Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radziwill Family in Nesvizh and Struve Geodesic Arc. The latter list contains just one element from Belarus – a ritual of Tsary (Tsars), which is placed in a list of heritage that requires immediate protection.
The National Commission voiced its support to the initiative to include Nezavisimosti avenue in Minsk as a serial trans-border nomination titled “The Post-War Socialist Architecture in Eastern and Central Europe” in the Belarus’ world heritage preliminary list.
Furthermore, the Commission decided to continue efforts at advancing the Belarusian nomination files “Celebration in Honor of the Budslaŭ Icon of Our Lady (Budslaŭ Fest)” and “Culture of duda (pipe)”, as well as “Forest bee-keeping”, with the latter to be realized in a longer-term perspective.
Finally, the Commission discussed the issue of Belarus’ election campaign to the UNESCO Executive Board for 2018-2021.
The Commission concluded with the adoption of a number of decisions that will be implemented through appropriate tasks and instructions.