BRICS countries commit to speeding up cultural cooperation
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, collectively known as BRICS, on Wednesday, signed a declaration to accelerate cooperation in cultural areas.
The declaration, signed in Johannesburg by the BRICS ministers of culture after months of consultations, will see the five countries cooperating in fashion, culture, and animation.
South Africa's Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa called for the speedy implementation of the declaration.
"This declaration is a clear signal where we want to go and areas where we emphasize and the practical steps we need to take. Cultural cooperation cannot be overemphasized, that should be the medium of our engagement. We have to engage on this continuously," said Mthethwa.
The culture ministers also agreed to engage the New Development Bank to fund cultural and creative industry programs. They endorsed the establishment of the BRICS cultural working group which comprises senior officials from BRICS countries to foster people to people cooperation and encourage cooperation in the creative industry.
"We have to move speedily and instruct the working group to begin work. Cultural diplomacy has to be accelerated. This must not be confined to the boardrooms but should go to the people." Mthethwa said.
He said BRICS have brought hope to the people and that needs to be sustained to bring political and economic governance, and the 4th industrial revolution has to play a center stage in culture with countries also cooperating to digitalize the sector.
China's Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Xiang Zhaolun said that culture is vital in the BRICS cooperation. It will enhance understanding among the BRICS countries, and improve tourism and economic benefits.
The ministers also endorsed institution-to-institution collaborations. These include cooperation in the BRICS Alliance of Museums, the BRICS Alliance of Arts Museum and Galleries.
(Cover photo: An illustration of BRICS logo. /VCG Photo）