Under India’s G20 presidency, the 2nd Culture Working Group meeting scheduled from 14th May to 17th May began in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Union Tourism and Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy, and the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityananda Rai gave an address during the meeting. The meeting held deliberations on the priority theme of the CWG and the drafting and finalization of the G20 Culture Ministers’ Declaration. This meeting witnessed participation from G20 members, guest nations, and representatives of several international organizations.
Union Tourism and Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy while addressing the meeting said, “Culture is an important component in creating a pro-planet society.” Further, he, emphasized, “how the Culture Working Group can leverage the diverse cultural experiences of its members and other stakeholders to address contemporary challenges to build an equitable and eco-friendly global community.” The minister added, “Culture plays an important role in global policy-making, as it leads to more inclusive and sustainable solutions to address contemporary challenges.” He also shared, “In this light the G20 Culture Working Group plays an important role in fostering cooperation and fostering dialogue among members”. “We are committed to promoting cultural dialogue, encouraging shared learning and strengthening cooperation among members, while also paying due attention to the unique cultural contexts and heritage of each nation.”The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityananda Rai also addressed the meeting, he shared, “Culture is the key to sustaining ties between countries and communities, increasing understanding, and building a sustainable and inclusive future.” He added, “India is marching towards making itself a futuristic, prosperous, inclusive nation.”
The meeting saw extensive deliberations on the priority theme of the Culture Working Group, wherein, delegates discussed ways the G20 can strengthen the global commitment to prevent illicit trafficking and facilitate the return and restoration of cultural property. The way forward on the drafting and finalization of the G20 Culture Ministers’ Declaration was also discussed during the meeting.
After the meeting, Union Tourism Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy and Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the exhibition titled ‘Sustain: The Craft Idiom’ at the Odisha Crafts Museum. Further, a visit to Konark Sun Temple is also being organized for the foreign delegates on Tuesday.
Earlier on May 14, Padma Shri awardee Sudarshan Patnaik displayed an exquisite sand artwork on the theme “Culture Unites All” at Puri Beach in Odisha. It was inaugurated by Culture and Tourism Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal.
The third Culture Working Group meeting will be held in Hampi on 15-18 July 2023 and the Culture Ministers meeting is scheduled to be held in Varanasi in August end.