18 April 2018 The participants of the meeting in Novi Sad

18 April 2018 The participants of the meeting in Novi Sad

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

50th Meeting of the PABSEC Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee

The Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, hosted the 50th meeting of the Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC), opened by MA Igor Becic, Head of the National Assembly standing delegation to PABSEC.


MA Igor Becic greeted the attending stressing how pleased he was that the meeting was taking place in the second biggest city in Serbia, Novi Sad which had been chosen as the 2021 European Capital of Culture. “I am glad that today we have the opportunity to highlight the importance of culture and cultural pluralism for each of our states, as well as the importance of cultural wealth for all of our countries together”, said Becic. He also added that each culture, religion and ethnic community possesses distinctions that should be respected, which can only be done through dialogue. He said that in the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina six languages are in official use makes it second in Europe, right after the European Parliament. “I want to point out that Serbia stands for the promotion of the cultural diversity of our region and encourages mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue, respect for different cultural traditions and the history of the Black Sea region, as well as protection of cultural heritage within and outside of our region”, said the Head of the National Assembly standing delegation to PABSEC.

Ozcan Ulupinar, Chairman of the PABSEC Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee, said that in these shaky times, culture and education are an excellent way to overcome differences and reconcile the different elements in the region.

The meeting was also attended by the Speaker of the Assembly of AP Vojvodina Istvan Pasztor who said that it rounds up an almost two-decade long series of events and conferences under the patronage of the Assembly of Vojvodina organized to advance interregional and parliamentary cooperation. “The Statute is the supreme legal document which guarantees multilingualism, multiculturalism and freedom of religion as values of exceptional importance.” Pasztor said that Vojvodina is home to 26 national communities and besides the Serbian language and Cyrillic script, the Hungarian, Slovak, Croatian, Romanian and Ruthenian language and their scripts are also in official use in the Province’s institutions. He added that mechanisms for the preservation of the personal autonomy of minority communities have been institutionally instated and Vojvodina is home to the seats of 15 national minority councils and offers education in 11 minority languages. Pasztor also said that out of the 453 localities on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites, 93 are on the territory of the 12 BSEC member states.

The Mayor of Novi Sad Milos Vucevic said that Novi Sad is the right place to speak of multiculturalism because it is a city of many nations, religions, languages and cultures and it is no mistake that it took the title of European Capital of Culture 2021, a project which immediately became one of national importance.

The attending were also addressed by the Head of the Provincial Government Igor Mirovic and PABSEC Secretary General Asaf Hajiyev who thanked the organizers for their hospitality, adding that the people of different nationalities who promote culture, tradition and language are the biggest wealth of the region.

After the keynote speeches the attending opened the 50th meeting of the Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and ascertained the agenda.

The members of the PABSEC decided to continue strengthening and enhancing cultural cooperation among the member states, to encourage creativity and cultural innovation, promote cultural projects in the Black Sea region, endorse the establishment of the Institution of the "Cultural Port of the Black Sea" and promote the much needed legislative changes to adjust the existing legal framework for the timely conduct of multilateral projects and agreements.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Greece, Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, Moldova and Turkey.



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