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TERMS OF REFERENCE
OF THE
WORKING GROUP ON CULTURE

The present Terms of Reference of the BSEC Working Group on Culture were  agreed upon the Resolution of the 15th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States (Moscow, 1 November 2006) establishing the BSEC Working Group on Culture.

I

The Working Group on Culture shall examine the ways of promoting and developing the cooperation among the BSEC Member States on culture and shall have the following mandate:

1. General objectives:

- Promotion of intercultural dialogue to foster a positive understanding and building of trust between the peoples of the BSEC Region and beyond;
- Fostering the spirit of equality and respect of national cultural traditions;
- Protecting cultural diversity;
- Promotion of the cultural identity of the BSEC Region in the sense of its interconnections as well as of its shared human values, traditions and beliefs;
- Protection of cultural values in the BSEC area;
- Raising awareness and care for the protection of outstanding monuments and sites considered as part of the cultural and natural heritage;
- Encouragement of the harmonization of the legal framework of the BSEC Member States in the field of protection of cultural heritage, in accordance with the relative International Conventions, especially in those framework of UNESCO and the Council of Europe;
- Protection and support of intellectual and artistic activity and creative expressionism in arts, literature, music, cinema, sports, relevant to living cultures (crafts), indigenous knowledge, local traditions and expressions, logographic /ethnographic elements, culinary and other;
- Incorporation of culture in tourism activities within and outside BSEC region;

2. Types of activities:

- Promotion of regional projects in culture leading to economic development;
- Encouragement of cross-border cultural heritage projects and activities with a potential for development;
- Promotion of culture as a founding element in Education and Tourism;
- Elaboration of intertwined projects (e.g. cultural routes, cultural tourism,protection of languages) also linking together the preservation of cultural sites and monuments with nature conservation;
- The Working Group on Culture shall work in close cooperation and coordination with the PABSEC Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee;
- Encouragement of dialogue, collaboration and projects with respective international and national organizations (UNESCO, World Heritage Fund, World Bank, EU, National Cultural Funds etc.);
- Engagement of youth in related cultural and sport activities and manifestations;
- Fostering the cultural dialogue between the civil society, NGOs and the private and public sector partners;
- Creation of corresponding promotional tools (e.g. websites);
- Engagement of the Media in promoting the cultural heritage of BSEC countries;

3. Consideration of assistance measures and available financial resources for solving problems related to the legal protection of cultural heritage in joint activities and for the implementation of achievements of cultural activities.

II

The Working Group shall make recommendations to be adopted by the BSEC Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The said recommendations should be also submitted to the Meeting of the Ministers in charge of culture for endorsement.
1. The country-coordinator of the Working Group shall present an annual report on the cooperation activities in the field of culture and report to the BSEC Ministers in charge of Culture and the BSEC Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
2. The Working Group shall convene regularly at least once a year.