Under India’s G20 Presidency, the one-day Culture Ministers is taking place in Varanasi on
26 August 2023, Saturday. The Culture Ministers’ Meeting began with a video message by
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. During the address, he highlighted the importance of culture.
During his address, the Prime Minister said, “Culture has the inherent ability to unite. This
enables us to understand diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Therefore, your work is of
great importance to all of humanity.
We Indians are extremely proud of our eternal and
diverse culture. We also attach great importance to our intangible cultural heritage. We are
working hard to preserve and revive our heritage sites. The issue of the return of cultural
property is an important one. I welcome your efforts in this regard. I am glad that your group
has started the campaign ‘Culture unites all. It embodies the spirit of Vasudhaiva
Kutumbakam – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. I also appreciate the important role you
are playing in shaping the G20 Action Plan with concrete outcomes.”
After the Prime Minister’s address, the Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy delivered
the welcome address followed by the representatives of Troika Indonesia and Brazil
delivering their respective addresses. During the meeting, a detailed report on the insights and
recommendations from the expert-driven Global Thematic Webinars titled ‘G20 Culture:
Shaping the Global Narrative for Inclusive Growth’ will be released. Along with the report, a
special postage stamp will also be released, marking the journey of the hallmark campaign of
‘Culture Unites All’.
Earlier, during a press conference on 25 August 2023, Union Culture Minister G.Kishan
Reddy said that “the Varanasi Culture meetings have created an opportunity to discuss multi-
dimensional global relations related to the cultural sector.” He informed that “more than 400
antiquities have been retrieved and brought back to India since 2014.” Along with the
Minister, Minister of State for Culture, Ms Meenakashi Lekhi said, “India’s presidency brings
out the beautiful tapestry of the cultural milieu of the country and Varanasi specifically,
which has been chosen as a UNESCO city of heritage for music.”
On the sidelines of the ministers’ meeting, a grand cultural musical concert ‘Sur Vasudha’
will be organized today at the Trade Facilitation Centre, bringing together musicians from 29
countries on the theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
Further, the 4 th G20 Culture Working Group meeting held in Varanasi from August 24-25.
The meeting witnessed deliberations on the Draft Ministers’ declaration. Apart from the
discussion the delegates visited the Sant Ravidas Ghat for a cruise on the River Ganga
followed by the grand Ganga Aarti. Thereafter, the delegates witnessed a mesmerizing
cultural performance organized by renowned dancer and choreographer, Rani Khanam.