"The most important thing for us is this historical event in which Yogyakarta is designated as ASEAN City of Culture for the 2018-2020 term. This is ASEAN community`s recognition of Yogyakarta as ASEAN City of Culture for the 2018-2020 period," a member of the Indonesian education and culture minister`s expert staff for innovation and competitiveness, Ananto Kusuma Seta, said in a press conference.
He expressed hope that other Indonesian cities will follow Yoygyakarta`s suit to become an ASEAN City of Culture in the future.
Yogyakarta also reflected the identity of ASEAN as pluralistic community thanks to its inclusiveness, security and tranquility, he said.
"We hope other cities will follow suit since the role of culture as DNA to greet the civilization century in the future will increasingly become very important. Many (participants) are of the view that the future humanity passport will rest with culture which is the soul of the future civilization," he said.
Director General of Culture Hilmar Farid said the designation of Yogyakarta as ASEAN City of Culture coincided with Indonesia being the host of the 8th AMCA meeting. As the host, Indonesia is authorized to appoint one of its cities to be designated as ASEAN City of Culture.
The election of Yogyakarta as ASEAN City of Culture received full approval from ASEAN member states at the meeting.
With the election of Yogyakarta as ASEAN City of Culture, the activities in the city must involve and prioritize the culture of prevention, strengthen activities promoting culture of prevention by involving international participation between ASEAN and its three dialog partners, China, Korea and Japan.
Yogyakarta held ASEAN Arts Festival on Wednesday which featured artists from ASEAN member states, China, Korea and Japan. ***4**
Reporting by Martha Herlinawati S