Melitopol - inspiring a national intercultural network
The Ukrainian city of Melitopol recently hosted a seminar "Intercultural Cities: communities oriented towards the future". The objective was to share information on the pilot phase of the Intercultural Cities programme with other Ukrainian cities in order to inform and inspire them to become members of a national network of intercultural cities. This exchange was jointly organized by Democracy through Culture, a development centre, and Melitopolís authorities under the Council of Europe/European Commission Intercultural Cities programme.
Melitopol is a Ukrainian city which has renewed its support for the intercultural approach. During the opening session, Serhiy Valter, Meltipolís new mayor, confirmed his commitment to the intercultural concept. Melitpolís dedication to interculturalism is also felt by many community stakeholders, as they view people and human relations as the cityís most valuable assets.
The exchange attracted a vast array of participants, including representatives of other Ukranian cities, cultural institutions, non-governmental organizations, as well as academics and students. The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Priluky expressed his commitment to joining the network and adopting the intercultural approach.
A draft memorandum setting up the Ukrainian Platform of Intercultural Cities was distributed to Ukrainian cities which wish to be future members of the Intercultural Cities network and national platform. This binding document will be used to develop a common action plan; identify a specific responsible body or individual in the local authority; single out training needs as well as objectives. Local City Councils were invited to adopt and make amendments to the memorandum until 15 December. The detailed working schedule will be decided after city majors have signed the memorandum.
The creation of another national Intercultural Cities network demonstrates a vote of confidence for the intercultural approach. This is an exciting opportunity for potential new cities, as well as old members, to exchange, engage and enhance the already existing and active learning community.
by Thomas Pavan-Woolfe