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Museums for Our Entry into the World Society Museums for Our Entry into the World Society
by Rene Wadlow
2019-05-18 09:05:35
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18 May is the UNESCO-designated International Day of Museums. Each year, there is an overall theme but presented in many different ways by museums throughout the world.  This year, the theme title is “Museums as Cultural Hubs”. The role of museums in society are changing.  Museums keep reinventing themselves in their quest for becoming ever more interactive and community oriented.  As institutions at the heart of society, museums have the capacity to establish dialogue among cultures and to build bridges.

Museums can play an increasingly vital role as we move toward a just and inclusive world society.  As citizens of the world in our analysis of the world situation, we have stressed the need for a clear strategic focus to move to a world society that is just, sustainable and inclusive.  We understand community-oriented as care for the Earth and as embracing our common responsibility to cooperate in promoting the well-being of all people and the larger community of life.

museu01_400Museums as vital community centers are challenged to find the balance between conserving the heritage of the past, educating on current vital issues, and pointing to trends which will develop in the future.

A current vital issue is the world-wide effort for ecologically-sound development  as an imperative if we are to meet the basic needs of all.  Basic needs include improved nutrition, education, safe water, and sanitation.  There is no question that humanity's relation with the earth is undergoing a profound transformation.  There is a process of deep reflection about our attitudes to plants, animals, land, water, air, in fact, the entire natural world of which we are a part.

Since the 1972 UN Stockholm conference on the environment, the public has been provided with realistic accounts of the extent of the degradation of planet Earth.  However, we must also stress activities that are being undertaken to improve the conditions of the environment to show that solutions are being found so that people do not feel hopeless and helpless.

Taking effective action to halt the massive injury to the Earth's ecological structures is a first necessary step.  This will require a mobilization of political will and cooperation.  We need to recognize that world ecological stability must be based upon a shared commitment to the common good and that each person has a unique part to play.

Museums help to build new bridges between nations, ethnic groups and communities through values such as beauty and harmony.  Museums also build bridges between generations, between the past, the present and the future. Therefore for this International Museum Day, let us consider together how we may advance understanding of the challenges that humanity faces as we move into a world society.

 *****************************************

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens


    
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