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Tadic: Serbian identity in KiM must be preserved

27. October 2011. | 12:15

Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug

Serbian President Boris Tadic Wednesday called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to do everything it can to prevent any attempt to make the unquestionably Serbian culture monuments in Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) “Kosovar.”

Serbian President Boris Tadic Wednesday called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to do everything it can to prevent any attempt to make the unquestionably Serbian culture monuments in Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) “Kosovar.”

Addressing the participants of the 2011 UNESCO Leaders Forum in Paris, part of the 36th biannual session of UNESCO's General Conference, Tadic pointed out that Serbia was a multiethnic and multi-confessional, democratic country, denying no one's identity, and as such had every right to expect the same from everyone else.

Tadic recalled the fact that four of Serbia's holiest sites were located in Kosovo, and had been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage in Danger List.

“Serbia, as a state party responsible for these monuments, shall remain committed to this task. We also count on support of UNESCO,” Tadic said at the forum, the topic of which this year is UNESCO's contribution to building a culture of peace and sustainable development.

Tadic recalled the fact that cultural heritage often crossed international, recognized borders of Southeast Europe. Serbia has taken a lead in strengthening cross-border cultural cooperation, which it sees as a strong contributor to regional reconciliation, he added.

In the light of the topic of this year's forum, Tadic said all UNESCO members should work together to prevent the globalization process from making the cultures of small countries extinct.
“The basic issue before us is not how to counter globalization, but how to harness it to the common advantage of mankind,” he said.

“The result would bring forth a world in which all cultures would grow increasingly secure in respect to each other. As a consequence, inequalities would become less prevalent, discrimination less rampant, and the instability arising from want or violence not only less extensive, but ultimately relegated to the margins of history,” said Tadic.

Tadic said the world needed a new verticality of values. “Our times call for the construction of a new axis mundi - symbolically speaking, a new global spine around which all of us - regardless of the country we come from and the culture we embrace - can rally and create a new moral and humanist environment,” he said.

“In our century, there can no longer be divisions between large and small cultures and traditions. Each in their own way possess a fundamental value that must never be allowed to be denigrated by anyone else,” Tadic said.

“Success will be achieved if our descendants are able to look back on our efforts and say, 'in the 21st century, hope prevailed over fear, and the cultures came together in all their wonderful diversity to conquer hostility and hatred,'” said the Serbian president.

According to Tadic, mainstream cultures around the world are increasing their fascination with the here-and-now, with what is trendy and contemporary dominant, and everyone is almost obsessed with being modern.

“This healthy approach has a dark side, however. If we are not careful, it can lead to a sense of loosing or forgetting our roots,” Tadic said, adding that he does not believe “we can be thoughtfully modern without remaining strongly linked with our own, particular tradition-our own specific heritage and inheritance.”

Tadic recalled the steps Serbia had taken in regional cooperation over the previous few years to help make cultural diversity a means to link nations together, instead of being a cause of divisions and confrontations.

Tadic said Serbia had put forward its candidacy for membership in the World Heritage Committee for the period 2011-2015, adding that he strongly believed the country's well-known and wide-ranging experience and expertise in the areas of protection of monuments and cultural cooperation.

“It is our duty to the sort of future we seek to build, to make sure UNESCO continues to encourage all of us member states to resist the temptation to create distance and build walls of seclusion, instead of bridges of understanding,” the Serbian president said.

Wrapping his speech, Tadic said UNESCO's “job is to create a harmonious symphony of mankind, to make sure we all better and more seamlessly connect, and thus enrich, the world of the 21st century-the kind of world we want our children to grow up in.”


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24. October - 30. October 2011.