A Reuters file photo

Pakistan urges UN to launch plan for coronavirus impact on culture

Pakistan stresses need for budget for ‘revival of cultural ecosystem’

​ Our Correspondent April 23, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has proposed the United Nations to launch strategies to measure the impact of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, on the culture sector, especially in vulnerable and developing countries.

The proposal came from Federal Minister for Education and Special Initiative Shafqat Mahmood during the first virtual meeting held by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at its headquarters in Paris, said a statement.

It was the first virtual meeting of its kind held by the UNESCO that was attended by over 110 cultural ministers from around the world to discuss and mitigate the impact of the virus crisis on the culture sector.

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Mahmood, in his country statement, briefed the meeting on priority areas of Pakistan’s response strategy to protect and preserve the cultural heritage.

He outlined steps taken by the government to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on tangible and intangible cultural heritage, creative industries, SMEs, museums, performing arts, cultural tourism and artistic education.

“I propose launch of national, regional and international level strategies under the auspices of UNESCO to measure the impact of the Covid-19 on culture sectors, especially in vulnerable and developing countries,” he said.

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The minister stressed the need for allocation of enhanced budget support for the artists and cultural professionals; and for the “revival of cultural ecosystem” badly affected because of the virus-induced lockdown.

“Pakistan has adopted smart lockdown strategy to gradually open certain carefully selected businesses and industry, while enforcing strict and comprehensive safety protocols to protect workers and their business clients that will certainly help in

revival of the badly suffered cultural sector because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said the minister.


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