The historic city of Bamiyan has now joined UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network which consists of 47 cities from 33 countries.
The network includes seven different creative fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.
By joining the Network, selected cities commit to joint collaboration of creative cities around the world as a way to enhance and promote creativity, share best cultural practices, and integrate culture in economic and social development plans.
Bamiyan is known for traditional handicrafts such as carpet weaving, sculpting and folk art, while the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of Bamiyan was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2003. Bamiyan was also recognized as the Cultural Capital of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for the year 2015.
In summer 2015, UNESCO assisted the municipality of Bamiyan within the framework of the Korean government funded project ‘Bamiyan Cultural Centre’, in preparing the nomination dossier for Bamiyan to join this Network. The Bamiyan Cultural Centre project is committed to building a Cultural Centre and Museum in Bamiyan province, and to promoting Bamiyan as a creative hub in Afghanistan as a way to preserve cultural heritage, and contribute to the economic development of the city.
Launched in 2004 and comprising 116 Member Cities, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to foster international cooperation with and amongst cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy.
On the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2015, Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO states that “The UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents an immense potential to assert the role of culture as enabler of sustainable development. I would like to recognize the many new cities and their countries that are enriching the Network with their diversity”
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the international community in September 2015, also highlights culture and creativity as key levers for sustainable urban development. The Network will continue to serve as an essential platform to contribute to the implementation and achievement of this international agenda.