United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation


“Film is vital to fostering cultural diversity, and promoting mutual understanding, dialogue and peage. It is for this reason that UNESCO forged its link with APSA, which is sees as a most important cultural initiative, not just in the Asia Pacific region, but globally.” – Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO

UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.

UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.



UNESCO is pleased to join forces with the annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) to celebrate the power and beauty of cultural diversity and creativity. APSA is our longstanding partner in the promotion of cultural diversity through cinematographic works, and I wish to commend its role in engaging with creative industry leaders, actors and associations.

Movies and cinema allow us to explore different worlds, ideas and values. They challenge us to gain insight into life, reflect on human condition, and contemplate spans of time. More than artworks – films are driving forces of social transformation and dialogue. They help widen our perception of the world to secure lasting peace and mutual understanding. This resonates deeply with the mission of UNESCO.

Today, when we see the rise of doctrines based on withdrawal and rejection of the other, we need to respond. When we see violent extremists seeking to destroy our shared heritage, or to undermine the diversity of humanity’s artistic expressions, we need to respond. We must restore strength and substance to the culture of tolerance, and highlight the extent to which cultures are enriched by mutual exchange. Movies are one of our most powerful assets that UNESCO and APSA share in this quest to encourage dialogue among cultures, to deepen exchanges and to generate greater respect and mutual understanding. This is the spirit of UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted in 2001. And this is why we are pleased to screen the winner of this year’s special “Cultural Diversity Award” at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in December 2017.

I wish to thank the City of Brisbane and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on this 11th anniversary of the Awards, and I congratulate all of the talented artists involved for sharing their stories and passion.

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