ASUNCION – Representatives of 33 nations participating in the 7th Inter-American meeting of cultural ministers and officials, promoted by the Organization of American States, met in Asuncion on Thursday.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes was on hand to inaugurate the meeting, which will last until Friday and whose main theme is development in the Americas and increasing the circulation of cultural goods and services, and which will provide a venue for discussing issues linked to the role of culture in the development of peoples.
Paraguay’s national culture secretary, Fernando Griffith, said during the opening ceremony that the issues to be discussed include local production of culture, the challenge of creating jobs and social inclusion by means of cultural endeavors and regional programs for the exchange of cultural goods and services.
Griffith urged the active participation of young people in the circulation system for cultural goods and services, noting that this is a right “that also must be demanded via the paradigm of cultural democracy.”
“It means assuming a new ethic on the hemispheric level that makes it possible for each person to have the right to enjoy his own culture, to use his own language and to form his own associations,” Griffith said.
The conference also seeks to promote political dialogue on the hemispheric level on culture, its role in and contribution to development, the mandates for which are followed by the Inter-American Committee on Culture, or CIC.
The CIC is part of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development, an OAS entity focusing on fostering cooperation to eliminate poverty.
At the end of the conference, a new nation will be selected to take over the CIC presidency, and Paraguay is expected to assume that role given that two years ago it had asked to be allowed to take on the task.