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The Seventh Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture release note

On May 24, the Seventh Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture was held via video link. Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping presided over the meeting and delivered a keynote speech. Brazilian Special Secretary of Culture of the Ministry of Tourism Hélio Ferraz de Oliveira, Russian Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova, Indian Minister of State for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi, and South African Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa attended the meeting. Under the theme of Establishing a Cultural Partnership Featuring Inclusiveness and Mutual Learning among BRICS, the ministers had an in-depth exchange of views on promoting the development and cooperation on cultural digitization, strengthening cooperation on cultural heritage protection, and advancing the building of cultural exchange platforms of BRICS countries. At the meeting, the ministers signed the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2022-2026).

Hu Heping said that people-to-people exchange is the “third pillar” of BRICS cooperation. The BRICS countries are committed to promoting cultural diversity, facilitating exchanges and mutual learning, and enhancing the friendship among the peoples. Together, the BRICS countries have made notable progress in strengthening cooperation mechanisms, expanding cooperation space, and organizing activities for the benefit of the people, which has laid a strong popular foundation for deepening practical cooperation and consolidating BRICS partnership. In his remarks at the 13th BRICS Summit on September 9, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the BRICS countries to stay resolved, strengthen unity and further enhance the quality of practical cooperation. He also stressed the need for the BRICS countries to strengthen people-to-people exchanges in the spirit of mutual learning. During the summit, the BRICS leaders agreed to uphold the BRICS commitment in addressing challenges and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, pointing the way forward and drawing the blueprint for the BRICS countries as they embark on a new journey of people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.

Hu Heping put forward five proposals on deepening people-to-people exchanges and cooperation among the BRICS countries. First, upholding inclusiveness and mutual learning. The BRICS countries should work together to foster new dynamics of mutual communication, cultural integration and people-to-people exchanges, and join hands in pushing for the progress of human civilization. Second, advancing practical cooperation. The BRICS countries should continue to optimize the operation of existing platforms in the field of arts and culture, expand the scope of people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, and harness the power of culture to promote the BRICS mechanism. Third, pursuing innovation and development. The BRICS countries should adapt to the requirements of digital, networked and intelligent development, vigorously develop digital cultural industries and public digital cultural services, and promote digital cultural exchanges and cooperation. Fourth, sharing responsibilities and obligations. The BRICS countries should promote the sharing and mutual learning of the experience and practices of cultural heritage protection and utilization, strengthen the protection and utilization of cultural heritage, and jointly safeguard the cultural treasures of all mankind. Fifth, taking a future-oriented perspective. The BRICS countries should carry out more cultural exchange activities for young people, implement more training programs for young talents, and promote cultural exchange and communication among youth.

BRICS cultural ministers expressed their appreciation to China for organizing the meeting and pledged to expand exchanges and cooperation in the spirit of inclusiveness and mutual learning, so as to make BRICS cultural cooperation a model of exchange and mutual learning among civilizations and contribute “BRICS power” to the progress of human civilization and world peace and prosperity. The ministers applauded the implementation of the last round of action plan as well as the work carried out by the various BRICS alliances of professional cultural institutions. They also expressed their appreciation for the successful organization of BRICS cultural festivals and film festivals. All parties agreed that BRICS countries should continue to strengthen cooperation in promoting the protection and utilization of cultural heritage, combating illegal trafficking of cultural relics, developing digital culture and unlocking the cultural creativity of young people, and lend new impetus into cultural exchanges among the BRICS countries.

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