Just one month after the ratification by the Netherlands of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (which extends not only to the European part of the Netherlands but also to its Caribbean part and Aruba), UNESCO organized in Oranjestad a workshop on the key concepts of the Convention and the main implications of the ratification. Within the framework of a regional project for strengthening capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Caribbean which is supported by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund thanks to the generous contribution of Norway, the meeting was inaugurated by Mr Arthur Dowers, Minister of Education, Ms Ineke Strouken, President of the Dutch Centre of Popular Culture and Intangible Heritage and the Coordinator for Culture of the UNESCO Office in Havana, Mr Fernando Brugman.
The workshop was organized thanks to the excellent work done by the Aruba National Commission for UNESCO with the support of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Aruba and counted with the presence of some 25 representatives of the most significant cultural institutions in the country to whom it provided an opportunity to discuss about the implementation strategy of the 2003 Convention in Aruba. The inclusive nature of the Convention was discussed, understanding that, in the conditions of a rapid globalization, it was a fundamental element of cohesion, mutual recognition and respect.
The workshop was honoured with the visit of Ms Michelle Hooyboer-Winklaar, Minister of Economy, Social Affairs and Culture, who, in an interview with the representative of UNESCO, stressed the vital need for safeguarding of the cultural heritage in Aruba.