The delegate-level deliberations of the G20 second Culture Working Group meeting kicked off in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER, G. Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai graced the inaugural session of the meeting.
Importance of Culture in Global Policy making
Addressing the delegates at G20 Bhubaneswar, G. Kishan Reddy said, “ Culture plays an important role in global policymaking, as it leads to more inclusive and sustainable solutions to address contemporary challenges”. He also added “In this light, the G20 Culture working group plays a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and promoting dialogue among members. We are committed to promoting cultural dialogue, encouraging shared learning, and strengthening cooperation among members, while also giving due consideration to the unique cultural contexts and heritage of each nation".
Equitable & Culturally Aware Global Policy
The Minister further said, by pursuing a collective vision, we aim to create a more equitable and culturally aware global policy landscape that acknowledges the immense value of cultural diversity. The role of culture in promoting social cohesion, fostering intercultural dialogue, and promoting mutual understanding cannot be overstated.
"The ancient Indian philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (The world is a family) beautifully connects with the concept of unity in diversity, as it promotes the idea that despite our differences in culture, religion, language, or ethnicity, we are all a part of one global family", he opined.
Highlighting the importance of Cultural exchange, the Minister said that it can contribute to sustainable development by promoting local economies, preserving cultural heritage, and supporting community development. He added that it is our duty to build upon the foundation laid by previous presidencies, to ensure that culture remains a key focus in the G20 agenda.
Kishan Reddy further said that local traditions and knowledge can teach about caring for the environment and using resources wisely. "People who have lived close to nature for many years know how important it is to live in balance with the environment. By incorporating their knowledge and practices into modern sustainable development strategies, we can create a more resilient and sustainable future.", he flagged at G20 second culture group meeting.
Emphasising culture as a vital component in creating a pro-planet society, he said the G20 Culture Working Group can significantly advance the current efforts to put culture at the center of global policymaking. "By working towards this goal, we can foster a more inclusive, equitable, and environment-friendly global community", he added.
India In Its Amrit Kaal
Addressing the delegates, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai underlined the co-timing of India's G20 presidency and the beginning of its journey of "Amrit Kaal" and said India is moving towards making itself a futuristic, prosperous, inclusive and developed nation by the time it completes 100 years of its independence.
Referring to the Prime Minister's vision of only one world instead of any First World or Third World, the Minister said India envisions collective effort of the entire world to ensure a better future. "This meeting is not just a diplomatic meeting, but a new responsibility of India- a country that has generated unforeseen inquisitiveness across the globe to be known and to be understood.", he added.
Stressing on the unifying and cooperative strength of India's diversity, Rai said as member of G20 culture working group India has the unique opportunity and responsibility of harnessing the transformative power of culture.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govind Mohan described the theme of G20 as exuding a powerful message of pursuing a just and equitable growth for all globally.
Delegates from the G20 members, guest nations, and international organizations participated in the deliberation on two priority areas as outlined by the CWG over three sessions today.
A set of cultural experiences have been curated for the delegates through the course of their visit. These include a visit to heritage sites like the Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Udayagiri Caves. The delegates will also experience special dance performances native to the State of Odisha such as Tribal (Singari), Sambalpuri, Odissi and Gotipua dance.
As a part of the 2nd G20 Culture Working Group Meeting, an exhibition titled ‘Sustain: The Craft Idiom’ has been organised at Kala Bhoomi - Odisha Crafts Museum in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The exhibition’s theme focuses on the second priority outlined by the Culture Working Group - ‘Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future’. The exhibition will be open to the public from 16th-22nd May ,2023.
The Culture Working Group is working with delegates of the G20 members, guest nations and international organisations through an inclusive process of in-depth discussions. These deliberations aim to identify critical areas for collaborative action, to further develop tangible recommendations and best practices for Sustainable Development.