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UNESCO holds first virtual conference with ministers | Updated: 2020-04-26 10:20
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Culture ministers from across the world attend a UNESCO meeting to discuss the current challenges brought upon the creative industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 22, 2020. [Photo provided to]

On April 22, culture ministers from over 130 countries shared, through an online meeting organized by UNESCO, their remarks on the impact of the COVID-19 health emergency on the cultural sector, as well as on the responses being initiated within their respective policies frameworks.

UNESCO's Director-General Audrey Azoulay said culture plays a vital role in coping with crisis and reviving economy after the pandemic. She called for deeper international cooperation and an open dialogue sharing experience and knowledge.

Zhang Xu, Chinese vice-minister of Culture and Tourism, introduced the current improvement in China under the most comprehensive prevention and control measures.

According to Zhang, China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has taken timely steps to soften the blow of coronavirus outbreak in the cultural sector, which include postponement of cultural activities, financial support for culture and tourism businesses, bringing cultural events online, and cultivation of digital culture.

Over the eight-hour session, ministers spoke passionately about the need for global collaboration to ensure the creative sector survived the pandemic. Many considered online operations a crucial pivot for the culture industry, which could now be a permanent fixture for many institutions.

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