Réunion informelle des Ministres de la culture: «Le nouveau rôle et les nouvelles responsabilités des ministres de la culture pour initier le dialogue interculturel» - Strasbourg, les 17 et 18 février 2003 

(version anglaise seulement)

Discours de Jenny Randerson, AM – Ministre de la Culture, du Sport et de la langue Galloise du Royaume-Uni

I am delighted to attend this Colloquy, both in my capacity as a Minister for Culture in the Welsh Assembly Government, which was formed just under four years ago, and as a Ministerial representative of the United Kingdom (UK).

As those who have visited Wales will know, we are an inclusive nation that strives to ensure that, regardless of your religious affiliation or ethnic origin, you can enjoy and participate fully in the rich and diverse cultural life of the nation. Wales is unique in the UK, but not in Europe, in being a bilingual nation. I am here to represent the UK, but it is important to stress that in the UK culture is a devolved matter.

Wales, like the rest of the UK, greatly values cultural diversity and is conscious that to denigrate or exclude a particular culture from the life of the country is morally wrong.

Today 6% of the population of the UK are from ethnic minorities. The UK benefits from its multicultural, multi - ethnic population which injects vibrancy and vitality into our cultural scene and variety and flexibility into our economy. At the same time, it brings its challenges as well. From our current and historical experience we understand the problems facing other nations seeking to prevent intercultural conflict.

The UK actively promotes initiatives to promote intercultural understanding through its overseas cultural body, the British Council, with which you will be familiar. One example of its work is the ‘Connecting Futures’ initiative, which aims to build better understanding, learning and respect between young people from different cultural backgrounds in the UK and across the Arab and Muslim world. The UK has also set up a Global Conflict Prevention Scheme, which funds conflict prevention projects. Furthermore, the UK welcomes the efforts of international fora such as the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe in this field and sees a vital role for them in the years to come.