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Culture topic of Stockholm conference

During a two-day conference organised late in February in the Swedish capitol Stockholm, policy makers from various European countries exchange their experiences with supporting culture in developing countries. The objective was to better attune the various activities.

In part the meeting was a follow-up on the inter-governmental conference 'Cultural Policies for Development', which was also held in Stockholm in 1998. 'But we especially wanted to take a look at the future,' says Bhanu Bhatnagar, who is affiliated with the Division for Culture and Media of the Swedish SIDA. 'A conference for countries that contribute to development cooperation, a donor conference, about culture and development cooperation had not been organised for quite some time. It is important to know who is doing what so that things are not done twice or certain areas are not forgotten.'

During the first day the donor countries presented their own strategies and the cultural programmes in the developing countries they support. They talked about results to date and challenges for the future. The second day focused on combating poverty and the question of the ways in which culture can contribute to the environmental objectives for combating poverty. The donors also reviewed their collective areas of interest and took inventory of the possibilities for cultural cooperation in conflict areas.

Inge Ruigrok

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