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Korea next year will chair UNESCO’s intergovernmental committee for the 14th Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The photo shows Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo (third from left) on Nov. 19, 2019, speaking at the UNESCO Forum of Ministers of Culture at the organization’s headquarters in Paris. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

By Park Hye Ri and Lee Jihae

Korea next year will chair UNESCO’s intergovernmental committee for the annual Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on Feb. 16 that Korea’s selection as the next chair country was announced at the convention’s 13th intergovernmental committee from Feb. 11-14 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Minister Park will assume the position of chairperson and represent the Korean government at the convention’s 14th intergovernmental committee slated for Feb. 2-5 next year.

To recognize and preserve diverse cultures around the world, UNESCO adopted the convention in October 2005 and formed an intergovernmental committee for nations to discuss relevant projects. Korea joined the convention in 2010 and was elected in 2017 as a member for a four-year term.

Korea was the vice-chair country at this year’s 13th committee.

A government delegation that participated in this year’s committee said, “The decision is thanks to international recognition of Korea for its steadfast efforts to protect and boost cultural diversity.”

The Culture Ministry said the committee’s member countries lauded the four Oscars earned by director Bong Joon-ho’s film “Parasite,” calling it the “epitome of a boost in expression of cultural diversity.” It also asked the Korean cultural industry to share its experience in cultural development.

“Through Korea’s election as the (committee’s) chair country, we will more actively discuss culture policy with the international community and share case studies of our outstanding cultural policy to strengthen cultural diplomacy,” the minister said.

“We will work harder toward cultural development with cultural diversity as the foundation.”

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