Cultural wings of the UK, France and Germany —British Council, Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institut — will work collectively under the European Union National Institutes for Culture Cluster in Bangladesh to promote the cultural heritage of the country in partnership with the government organs and private organisations.
EUNIC Cluster in Dhaka was launched on Wednesday at the Franco-German embassy in Baridhara diplomatic area.
British Council Bangladesh’s director Barbara Wickham, AFD director Bruno Plasse and Goethe Institut director Kirsten Hackenbroch signed contracts for three years collaboration at the launching ceremony.
The initiative of the creation of EUNIC Bangladesh was approved by the general assembly of EUNIC in Paris in June.
European Union delegation ambassador Rensje Teerink, French ambassador Marie-Annick Bourdin, British high commissioner Alison Blake and cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor were present at the ceremony.
Terming the initiative a new window for operating public diplomacy collectively by the three EU member states in Bangladesh, Rensje Teerink in her speech hoped that the project would help protect and promote cultural heritages in Bangladesh, foster language teaching programmes and also ensure presence of the EU in the cultural sphere with the programmes focusing on the intrinsic values of the European identity.
She also praised the rich cultural heritage of Bangladesh and highlighted some major festivals organised in the country.
Welcoming the initiatives, cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman said the ministry would extend cooperation in the activities of the EUNIC Cluster in Bangladesh.
After creation of the cluster, British Council, Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institut would initiate collective programmes to train language teachers, encourage action aimed at raising awareness of cultural heritage with the general public, officials and schools, Bruno Plasse said.
‘EUNIC Bangladesh will also promote cultural festivals and social issues, especially based on gender and sexual orientation discrimination,’ Bruno said.
Barbara Wickham will chair the cluster for the first year and the directors of other two cultural centres will hold the position for the next two years.
European Union National Institutes for Culture was established in 2006 in Brussels to promote culture related activities beyond their borders. It is a network of 36 European national institutes of culture and national bodies of all 28 EU member states.
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