Cooperation to Save Human Characteristics and Guard Their Survival

Mohsen Shalaan

General Director
Traditional Handcraft Centers
Fine Arts Sector
Ministry of Culture
Arab Republic of Egypt

The time may have come to realize that the traditional and humane features of our world can only be saved through international cooperation among governments and individuals. This could be accomplished by preserving our cultura1 heritage, lest it be lost beneath the wheel of modern technology embodied in the powerful machines that are replacing our humanity and our generations of inherited traditions and customs.

In May of 1999, I had the honor to be part of a regional study committee in Beirut, on the implementation of the 1989 UNESCO recommendations to preserve traditional and popular culture. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work of the representatives of the participating nations to engage the heritage that is etched on this unique corner of this universe.

The various study groups represented in this committee produced well-balanced proposals on aspects of legality and authenticity, as these relate to the preservation and safeguarding of culture.

With this basis, in the present conference, I am honored to present the following recommendations: UNESCO is urged

Finally, I hope that representatives can agree on a unified way to preserve and maintain their folklore under the auspices of UNESCO.