ICOM is a global network of more than 35,000 culture and museum institutions and professionals that work together to achieve its mission of conserving, continuing, and communicating to society the world’s natural and cultural heritage. Its Philippine National Committee, the ICOM-Philippines headed by its Chair, Gina V. Barte is tasked to host this year’s annual event. The ICOM President, Hans-Martin HInz, will address the event together with the ICOM-ASPAC Chair, Dr. Song Xinchao, Chair of ICOM-China and Deputy Director of the Directorate of State Cultural Heritage of the Peoples’ Republic of China. This year’s theme, ‘Pathways for Museums for a Sustainable Society,’ promotes ICOM’s response to changes in today’s social environment and represents ICOM’s contribution to societal development, particularly in the domain of culture and museum building. This is part of ICOM’s response to the global call of uniting its partners in culture and development to create the greatest impact in becoming a cultural driving force towards sustainable development.
The link between sustainable development issues and the core function of museums to safeguard and promote and educate the public about their cultural heritage is becoming more pronounced in recent years. The world is increasingly torn by conflicts and violence, where museums and cultural heritage sites have become targets of destruction or end up as collateral damage, in situations of terrorism and war. Calamities and disasters resulting from extreme weather conditions continue to endanger museums and collections that represent irreplaceable culture and heritage. Poverty and growing population have led to neglect in some countries, making museums and cultural objects to pillage and theft.
In this event, the ICOM-ASPAC will be able to gather the key leaders of culture and museums in the region as well as other countries outside of it as one community in an effort to recognize its role in defining, promoting, and implementing sustainable practices. It will explore take off points that will bring forth significant and new knowledge about the framework and best practices of each of the 24 ICOM-ASPAC member countries. The goal is to create pathways that puts culture and museums at the core of sustainable development in the countries/regions where the ICOM-ASPAC is present, including Australia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam (observer), China, Cambodia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Khyrghyztan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Shri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand. They will be joined by Palau representing the Pacific rim countries and middle east countries, the Republic of Iran.
“As the country host, the ICOM-Philippines is looking forward to having our colleagues and our sustainable development allies, learn from the plenary discussions and workshop sessions but most of all, discover our own cultural treasures through the study tours of significant cultural sites, museums, and exhibits and other activities lined up for the event,” enthuses Barte.
She also added that the Philippine hosting of this year’s ICOM event comes at an opportune time as the government, through the Department of Tourism, has identified the role of cultural tourism as one of the driving forces in the development of Philippine tourism. The event is also a testament that the country, and especially Iloilo, is now ready to be globally competitive in hosting international events like ICOM.
DOT follows the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), which also supports the direction of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), as its strategic framework in the development of the tourism section. Under the NTDP, opportunities for the country to develop and market competitive destinations and products has been identified. Part of this is cultural tourism as well as promoting the Philippines as a competitive venue for global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) activities.
ICOM ASPAC 2015 event will be attended by museums and culture professionals, culture and tourism planners, entrepreneurs, policy makers, advocates, academics, partners from the business sectors and civil societies, other stakeholders from the Philippines and members from the global ICOM network. If you want to know more about ICOM,visit http://icom.museum/. To know more about the event, visit http://network.icom.museum/icom-philippines/. For additional queries, contact the Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org, +632550-2218 or +63927-812-2335 (PR)