What is Cultural Diplomacy to you?

By The Hon. Dr. Erhard Busek, Former Vice-Chancellor of Austria; Former Minister for Science and Research of Austria

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“The question of mobility, employment, and solidarity is very much one of depending our mutual understanding.
If there is no mutual understanding, if you do not know who you are and who the other person is, what your and their way of thinking is, and what the historical background is, things cannot really work. So far, it is a job for Cultural Diplomacy.

[…] Let’s look at some positive examples. I am used to listening to the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, which was founded by Claudio Abbado in 1986. There are 28 Nations represented in it and it is really working because Music needs no translation. Everybody speaks a different language, but they can understand each other through Music. On the other hand, many cultural misunderstandings come from the lack of knowledge about different cultural environments. I may stress this when it comes to religion, more efforts are required to move towards increased secularization, to increased openness and mutual understanding, and to avoid any hostile actions”.