September 24, 2020

Tehran Communiqué -ACD Ministerial Meeting on Cultural Cooperation – 8 May 2013- Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

We, Ministers of Culture  and other Heads of delegations from Member States to the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), namely: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, the State of Kuwait, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Sultanate of Oman, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, the State of Qatar, the Russian Federation, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam gathered in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, for the ACD Ministerial Meeting on Cultural Cooperation on 8 May 2013;  

In view of the in-depth discussion on the wide variety of cultural issues, and review of the role of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue in enhancement of cultural ties Asia-wide, as well as the challenges and opportunities lying ahead, and directions to pace up progress in various areas, we, hereby, declare the following:

1.       We reiterate the unique role of the ACD as the only Asia-wide forum whereby Asian Leaders and Ministers convene to exchange views and promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest, while upholding the ACD core values of positive thinking, informality, voluntarism, non-institutionalization, respect for diversity, as well as the comfort level of Member States and the evolving nature of the ACD process;

2.       We acknowledge the significance of cultural regional cooperation as an essential mechanism to accelerate economic and social progress, sustainable development and stability in the Asian region with its vast and diverse natural and human resources, rich and historical heritage and economic and social potentials;

3.       We recognize that cultural commonalities constitute a good basis for mutual understanding and cooperation among people, since culture has paved the path for the creation and development of human civilizations;

4.       We explore the need for establishing a mechanism to carry out comparative studies on Asian ethnic cultures, and to cooperate in the safeguarding and revitalization of common ethnic and linguistic identities at the regional level; we recognize the need for promoting Asia’s cultural presence in the world;

5.       We accept Thailand’s initiative on the draft outline concept paper on ACD Regional Connectivity. This initiative, among other things, aims to enhance, people-to-people contacts and cultural relations in Asian Countries;


6.       We acknowledge the necessity of preserving, protecting, and promoting traditional arts and handicrafts amongst member states as well as common cultural heritage at the regional level;

7.      We acknowledge the proposal by the Islamic Republic of Iran to host an ACD Cultural Coordination Centre, in Tehran, to ensure the implementation of cultural initiatives and projects initiated by ACD Member States, and the enhancement of cultural ties amongst Member States;

8.       We reiterate the need to continue working towards the promotion of dialogue and understanding among all civilizations, cultures and religions throughout Asia, and reaffirm our commitment to promoting tolerance, as well as respect for and protection of the freedom of religion and belief, including the right to preserve one’s cultural identity, and reiterate our desire to enhance the efforts of ACD members in promoting peace, and dialogue among civilizations, religions and cultures, through various activities, including international and regional conferences and fora;

9.     We welcome the efforts by the media, including through new platforms such as the internet and digital social networking, to promote inter-faith and intercultural dialogue, and encourage the further promotion of dialogue through media from all cultures and civilizations and acknowledge the prominent role of media and cinema in promoting cultural dialogue of cultures in Asia and promoting a shared identity over the continent, and welcome the initiatives by the Islamic Republic of Iran to promote cooperation on cinematic and media issues among Member States;

10.  We appreciate and welcome the initiative taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran for holding of the 1st ACD Regional Seminar on Culture and Globalization in Asia, held in February 2013, and endorse outlines for regional convergence, as well as strategies on culture and globalization in ACD member states;

11.  We reiterate the importance of exchanges of past and current knowledge and expertise on culture as a determining factor in (1) raising awareness on the diversity and commonality of cultures in Asia; and (2) building capacity for and encouraging sustainable development of cultural cooperation. We also welcome (a) the utilization of all available methods and means for cooperation on cultural research and publications among member states, including specialized encyclopedias, websites, and archives; (b) the creation of cultural seats in universities, and research institutes; and (c) the establishment of cultural chambers;

12.  We echo the unanimous consensus achieved in the course of the 3rd Senior Official’s Meeting on Cultural Cooperation on the need for cooperation among Member States on Anthropology and Cultural Interaction, by reiterating the interest in devising and executing novel initiatives with sub-regional, regional, and, especially, continental perspectives;

13.  We encourage active participation of all Member States in the cultural projects promoted under the ACD cultural  cooperation;

14.  . We support the proposal presented by the Islamic Republic of Iran to commemorate Living Human Treasures of Asia, and echo the spirit of the mentioned proposal by reiterating the idea that the “Asian” culture is, transferred, mostly through oral traditions, among successive generations, and that it must be properly safeguarded by all Member States;

15.  We express our willingness to cooperate in organizing or taking part in such regular cultural events as “ceremonies to commemorate Prominent Asian Cultural Custodians”, “Asian culture and art weeks”, “ceremonies to address the outstanding cultural role of Asian women”, and “ceremonies to introduce Asian culture to younger generations”, among others;  

16.  We welcome the offer by the Philippines to host the 1st Ceremony for Commemoration of the Asian Living Human Treasures in October 2013;

17.  We express our resolve to take appropriate measures at national and regional levels to undertake cultural projects and activities to improve life quality and empowerment of women, bearing in mind the inherent potential of women, through inter alia adopting proper socio-economic strategies and programmes and provisions of services, particularly for women with disabilities or those living in rural areas;

18.  We underline the necessity of collaboration in areas of sharing experience and information, including public awareness efforts, on the role of women in cultural and social activities, as well as scientific and academic advancements, as an important means to promote Asian culture;

19.  We encourage the strengthening of regional youth networks through trainings and exchange programs that will increase the youth’s awareness of the need to cultivate inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue in their respective communities;

20.  We welcome the proposal by the Regional Research Centre for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in West and Central Asia, Under the Auspices of UNESCO (Category 2) (Tehran ICH Centre) to enter cultural cooperation with ACD, and will cooperate in this regard;



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