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27 / 08 / 2004
The dialogue Cultural rights and human development opens the door to new possibilities for rights relating to culture

The Dialogue “Cultural Rights and Human Development” came to close this afternoon with a moving homage to Eduard Delagado—the promoter of the Dialogue and the founder of Interarts.

The president of Interarts Foundation—one of the organizers of the dialogue--Rosa Maria Carrasco, spoke of the “long road and the difficulties overcome to get here.” She continued: “But now the result is clear and we are very satisfied”. Moreover, Carrasco announced the creation “of the first Internet portal on cultural rights, which is open to visitors starting today. The website www.culturalrights.org seeks to offer a space for research and, thus, for information on and the dissemination and exchange of these rights.”

Carrasco said that, “it often occurs that people don’t see culture in development, which tends to be the poor relative of the x percent of the budget, and cultural cooperation is even poorer.” Carrasco said that, “the impact that culture has on individuals is difficult to compare with that of housing, health or education and that is why it is important to put cultural rights on our agendas.”

Finally, Carrasco called for a moment of silence as a clear reference to Eduard Delgado and “for all those who were unable to come and who cannot exercise their culture freely.”

Leire Paijín, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and the president of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, called for “a critical civil society in order to face the global society.” Pajín also mentioned that Eduard Delgado “was a promoter and trainer who made it possible to transform cultural life in Barcelona and other places in the world.”

François Nizery, a member of the Office of Cooperation for the European Commision’s Europe Aid, François Nizery, explained that, “we should not place culture at the forefront, as we would be falling into the same error that we are currently criticizing. Instead, culture has to be included in our set of values.” Nizery point out that “we cannot become obsessed with that which is audiovisual and with images” and added that “we need to break through the barrier between those who work in the world of culture and those who work in education.”

Nizery said, "we can't forget about the darkness of Europe" and added that "we need the European Commission to have cultural policies." In this respect, Nizery said "In Brussels they are making progress with this, and they need funds."

Edgar Montiel, a member of UNESCO, said "we can fall into an excess of formalism if we try to formalize cultural rights with a handful of laws and norms." For this, Montiel added, "we cannot forget about traditions or customs that are more important than the fact that an article is being complied with."

Montiel requested, "that we have a wider vision of culture" and for this "we need to propose new parameters in the international agenda." Montiel also explained "that cultural should relate more to creativity and to life than to development."

The CEO of Forum Barcelona 2004, Jaume Pagès, thanked all the participants and organizers for their efforts and expressed his desire for "the Dialogue to leave a legacy behind, not just in Catalonia, Spain, but rather, in the whole world."