Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Ukrainian Platform of the Intercultural Cities

On 29 and 30 March 2011 several representatives from Ukrainian cities met in Kyiv and signed the Memorandum on the Ukrainian Platform of Intercultural Cities. It was subscribed by the cities of Melitopol, Pryluky, Khmelnytsky, Yuzhne, Zhytomyr, and Lutsk. Three other Ukrainian cities, Nizhyn, Kherson and Shevchenkivsky, which were unable to attend the seminar “Intercultural Cities: an Ukrainian Platform” also agreed to join the national network. The participating cities set up a task force and developed an action plan.

This event was organized by the centre “Democracy through Culture". The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and the Council of Europe also provided crucial political support. Adil El Marouaki, founder and director of the Centro Interculturale Mondinsieme, Reggio Emilia, Italy, presented an overview of the Italian Network of Intercultural Cities' experience. He also offered examples of the initiatives and activities operated by the intercultural training centre he founded.

Representatives from Melitopol city council informed participants of their decision to adopt the plan “Melitipol, a European Intercultural City”. This scheme consists of several projects in various sectors, as well as the flagship programme, Intercultural Park. The Intercultural Park concept was initially developed by an international team who attended a master class in Stadslab, Tilburg. A Ukrainian version of this model is currently under preparation.

Representatives from Russia, Armenia, Azerbjan, Kyrgyzstan and the Ukraine participated in a working group of the Intergovernmental Foundation for Education and Scientific and Cultural Cooperation for the CIS (IFESCCO) dealing with the project “Intercultural Cities: Place to Stand” supported by UNESCO. The project aims at expanding the intercultural approach, mechanisms and policies to a form a new non-European network of intercultural cities. Discussions took place during this working group on the selection criteria and mechanisms to form this new network. The initiative will involve exchanges with the European network. It will use the intercultural lenses as a development tool.

The creation of a new national network of Ukrainian cities represents an exciting learning step for the Intercultural Cities program. In the future more cities will be able to share their challenges and solutions to realize the diversity advantage!