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Fiji official highlights importance of cultural diplomacy

08-16-2012 17:34 BJT

SUVA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Saipora Mataikabara, the Permanent Secretary of Fiji's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations on Thursday emphasized the importance of cultural diplomacy in international relations and national development.

Mrs. Mataikabara made the comment while officiating at the opening of the two-day 2012 Fijian Teachers Association Cultural Festival.

The two-day event, with the theme closely relating to cultural diplomacy, "allows students to recognize the value of belonging to a cultural group and at the same time, it provides a deeper understanding of the cultural dynamics that exist in our own society allowing the general recognition and appreciation of the diversity of cultures," says Mataikabara.

She explained that cultural diplomacy is the exchange of ideas, information, values, systems, traditions, beliefs, and other aspects of culture, with the intention of fostering mutual understanding.

"As the world is ever increasingly and interdependently globalized the need for mass interaction and communication with the outside world has also increased. Cultural diplomacy is critical in the development of peace and stability and therefore depicts that everyone in Fiji and throughout the world has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community and to gracefully share in its advancement and benefits."

To date, Fiji has established formal diplomatic relations with 126 countries, who are members of the UN.

Cultural diplomacy is a useful tool in deepening and strengthening bilateral relations with other countries, Mataikabara stressed.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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