SINGAPORE: Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu will visit Paris, France to attend the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference, the ministry said in a media release on Monday (Oct 30).
Ms Fu - who is also the chair of the Singapore National Commission for UNESCO - will be in Paris from Oct 31 to Nov 2 and will "reaffirm Singapore's commitment to UNESCO as a responsible and active member state", said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
She will deliver a national statement on Nov 1 as part of UNESCO's general policy debate.
The statement will highlight Singapore's "continued commitment to UNESCO's agenda" and enhance the "universal value of our first UNESCO World Heritage site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens", said MCCY.
Ms Fu will also speak about the importance of safeguarding "Singapore's intangible cultural heritage" and about how Singapore will be stepping up efforts to do so.
“When we talk about heritage, it is not just about our historical buildings," said Ms Fu in the media release. "It includes the intangible things such as our rituals, customs, our songs, our food. The traditions and practices passed down from our ancestors have evolved over the years, adapted to our multicultural society and in step with development."
"They are an essential part of what makes us Singaporean, and an anchor to our collective identity."
As part of the heritage plan for Singapore, "we will find ways to better safeguard our intangible cultural heritage" so that this is passed down to future generations, said Ms Fu.
She added that the Government would be closely working with communities, academics and experts on this and also learn from the "very best in the world".
Starting on Monday, the two-week UNESCO General Conference is a biennial meeting that determines the policies and main lines of work of UNESCO, including its programmes and budget.
It is attended by representatives from UNESCO member states and associate members, as well as observers from non-member states, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and foundations.
At the sidelines of the conference, Ms Fu will also meet outgoing Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. While in Paris, Ms Fu will also visit French cultural institutions to strengthen cultural relations and explore possible collaborations.