Jacques Chirac and Alpha Oumar Konaré at the ICOM General Conference. © blog.sina.com.cn/xingguang23599 N.Amorim© ICOM
December 2010 - The 22nd ICOM General Conference was honoured to welcome two former heads of state, Jacques Chirac, former President of France and Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali. During the closing ceremony, Jacques Chirac recalled his long-term commitment to museums and the promotion of cultural diversity. The former French President’s speech echoed to perfection the six days of debate that ICOM hosted on the theme of social harmony. Mr Chirac also underlined ongoing actions today in favour of cultural diversity through the Chirac Foundation that he created in 2008.
Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of the Republic of Mali emphasised the substantial changes that are sweeping our society and continents today. He particularly stressed Africa’s role in the world in terms of its unprecedented population growth, which will exceed 2 billion by 2050 and in this context, he called on African museums to meet the social harmony challenge. According to Mr Konaré, the international museum network should also take on board this issue, particularly through their interaction with the public and their role in promoting interculturalism.