Panellists of the ASEM Workshop on Enhancing ASEM Visibility through Cultural Activities in Vietnam

Officials from the Culture, Education and Foreign Affairs ministries of the ASEM member countries should coordinate better to promote cultural cooperation in a more comprehensive and integrated way, according to participants of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Workshop on Enhancing ASEM Visibility through Cultural Activities held in Vietnam on 28-29 April 2010.

Cultural diplomacy today is more about people-to-people activities, multilateral projects and building long-term relationships among various groups. The workshop highlighted the importance of activating existing networks of professionals and facilitating the establishment of new ones. This was particularly important in Asia, where networking across borders within the cultural sector is less developed than in Europe. NGOs and other associations can play an important role in promoting mutual understanding by actively assisting to build up such networks.

Participants also welcomed the key role played by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) as a facilitator of cultural interactions between Asia and Europe. ASEM governments should continue to support the Culture360 online platform, managed by ASEF, which can become a highly effective tool for ASEM cultural cooperation. Culture 360 can connect millions of cultural practitioners as well as raise awareness of the ASEM informal dialogue process.

Recommendations from this workshop will be submitted to the 4th ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting in Poland (7-9 September 2010), and to the ASEM 8 Summit in Brussels (4-5 October 2010).

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