What is Cultural Diplomacy to you?

By Deirdre Shurland, Senior Consultant, UN Environnent Program

“In my line of work, tourism, there are a number of heritage type resources, relics of the past, natural areas that are so significant from an ecological stand point, which may have served as particular routes and facilitated trade in ancient times and so on.

This is a tremendous story to tell to anyone. It built nationhood and it gives nationals or citizens a sense of who we are, where we come from. This is what Cultural Diplomacy is, and this is why Cultural Diplomacy is so important for the development question. In many cases it is just not told in the proper way for several reasons: because it takes so much time to tell this story, because there are lots of resources, or buildings, that need to go into reconstruction and rehabilitation, and because it's only one segment of the society providing the resources or the capabilities to tell that story. As a result, this story is not appreciated enough.

From my stand point it is one the most fascinating aspects, to tell this story to a destination, to provide a great quality attraction to visitors”.