Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, head of Vietnam's Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, made the remark at an interview with Vietnam News Agency reporters in Paris concerning the recent inclusion of the ancient city of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam and Da Lat city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in terms of music and crafts-folk art, respectively. The two are among the 55 new members of the network announced on October 31 on the occasion of World Cities Day.
According to the diplomat, Da Lat’s and Hoi An's participation in the network is another contribution by Vietnam to UNESCO, especially in her position as the vice chair of the 24-member UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
A corner of Hoi An ancient town. (Photo: VNA)
In return, the localities earn the opportunity to learn from other cities' experiences in integrating culture and creativity into urban development strategies and action plans, and promoting sustainable livelihoods for locals. It is also an opening for Vietnam to promote itself, its people and culture to the world as a dynamic, deeply integrated, innovative nation imbued with cultural identity.
Van stressed that with the fresh inclusion of Da Lat and Hoi An, and that of Hanoi as a creative city of design in 2019, Vietnam has essentially formed its own creative cities network within the global one. This is an important foundation for building and perfecting policies and measures for the development of the cultural industry in Vietnam to be commensurate with its existing advantages and potential.
In addition to the honour and pride, the diplomat also acknowledged the accompanying responsibility. The three cities are set to collaborate with network members to enhance their ability to adapt and respond to increasing threats such as climate change, inequality, and the rapid urbanisation, with 68% of the world's population predicted to live in urban areas by 2050.
A view of Xuan Huong lake in Da Lat city. (Photo: VNA)
The UCCN was initiated in 2004 to promote cooperation between cities that consider creativity a strategic element for sustainable development and cultural industry the core of urban development plans. To date, it groups 350 cities from more than 100 countries, focusing on creativity in seven areas – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music./.