OCA #21  SPRING 2015  WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM Text by Kristina Glazunova

Over the last few years attitudes to culture, the understanding of its importance and role in modern society, the recognition of culture as one of the most important resources for social and economic development have radically changed. As a result, the implementation of a program of cultural development, giving a special recognition to national cultures of peoples and nations, with specific steps identified is critical.

The role of culture as a driving force of social development is the subject of much discussion in the business community who held a series of activities at different levels in Moscow at the end of 2015. One of them was the II International Cultural Forum of the Silk Road held on September 14-15, 2015.

The forum gathered participants of the SCO countries and representatives of other states located along the Great Silk Road. There were directors of museums, libraries and theaters, scientists and cultural figures, mass media representatives from 16 countries (including China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey), and a representative of Open Central Asia magazine, Marat Akhmedjanov.

This year’s topic was “Development of Partnership: The development of joint projects in the field of cultural cooperation.” During the meeting participants talked about the prospects and the state of cultural exchanges, projects in the field of preservation and development of intangible cultural heritage, the use of tourism resources of the Great Silk Road. The result of the meeting was an agreement on the establishment of cultural cooperation called “Silk Road – Eurasia”.

The Forum’s mission was to provide participants with numerous opportunities for international exchanges and co-operation, promote the development of the cultural traditions of different countries and to develop co-operation in the field of culture between the foreign partners.

The history of the Silk Road shows us just how important it is for countries of this region to keep in touch, maintain and develop their own cultural traditions, to borrow the best in the experience of their neighbouring countries in order to maximize development. Encouraging intercultural dialogue and strengthening co-operation was the outcome of the Moscow meeting culminating in the signing of an agreement to establish a new inter-state structure titled, the “Organization of cultural cooperation “Silk Road – Eurasia””.