Declaration of Tiwanaku

Ancient Civilizations Forum

Second Ministerial Meeting

La Paz, 13 July 2018

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Fernando Huanacuni Mamani, of the Hellenic Republic Nikos Kotzias; Representative of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China, Yu Qun; Deputy Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Ashot Hovakimian, Viceminister for Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Iran, Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour; Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru, Javier Leon; Representative of the Republic of Iraq, Arshad Omar Esmaeel; Representative of the Republic of Egypt, Amin Mourad Meleika; Representative of the Italian Republic, Placido Vigo, gathered for the second ministerial meeting of the Ancient Civilizations Forum, “Ancient Cultures in the Present” held in La Paz, Plurinational State of Bolivia, as part of Tiwanaku Civilization, which stands today as a bridge that links us with ancestral wisdom and values.

1. Giving continuity to the Athens Declaration, as an outcome of the Ancient Civilizations Forum, held the 24 of April, 2017, we reaffirm the ancient heritage and wisdom of our ancient civilizations, which, in spite of time, remain vivid and relevant in today’s globalized world.

2. Recalling the purpose of the Declaration of establishing a permanent platform for dialogue and cultural cooperation; where dialogue constitutes a tool to define strategies to protect and promote our historical and cultural heritage and thus learning from our own history and the legacy of our ancient civilizations, and reaffirming the importance of its objectives in the light of rapid and complex challenges that the world is facing such as terrorism, radicalization, extremism, violence, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of related intolerance.

3. Underlining the need to work together, as appropriate, to safeguard the historical and cultural heritage of the ACF members, on the basis of the principles of sovereignty, dignity, complementarity, solidarity and harmony, with a view to providing living well and prosperity; with full respect to the cultural diversity and specificity of the Member States of the Forum.

4. Emphasizing that ancient civilizations are in many cases living cultures and their cosmovision and wisdom can be a source for solving multiple contemporary challenges such as financial, economic, environmental, migratory, food, among others, and that it is necessary to remain inspired by our ancient civilizational models that value life, peace, tolerance, coexistence, development and harmony between human beings and nature.

5. Recognizing the importance of promoting, developing and disseminating the knowledge and understanding of ancient cultures and civilizations, to contribute to global knowledge, to equitable development and to the promotion of pluriculturalism and cultural diversity, with full respect for the sovereignty of States and their contribution to world culture.

6. Recognizing the importance attached to the return of cultural property that is of fundamental spiritual, historical, developmental and cultural value to countries of origin, so that they may constitute original collections representative of their cultural heritage; and expressing our deep concern about the continuing illicit traffic in cultural property and its damage to the cultural heritage of nations, while recalling the paramount importance of enhanced international cooperation in the restitution of illicitly trafficked cultural proprieties.

7. Taking note of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 71/178, which proclaims the year 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the critical loss of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote these languages.

We agree:

To provide a mandate for the establishment of a permanent platform of dialogue and cultural cooperation with the aim to:

  1. Promote historical research with special emphasis on the value and contribution of great ancient civilizations to the course of mankind, with a view of restoring their proper place in the predominant narratives;
  2. Intensify efforts for the achievement of the objectives of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property;
  3. Promote the achievement of the objectives of the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Appropriation, including through providing support for countries negotiating for the legitimate right of return or restitution of their cultural property;
  4. Generate platforms for dialogue and exchange of views between academics and prominent personalities of the Member States of the Forum;
  5. Foster dialogue and cultural exchange in: music, dance, legends, myths, tales and sociocultural practices and rituals among indigenous peoples, civil society and Member States of the Ancient Civilizations Forum;
  6. Establish procedures to incorporate prospective new Member States to the Forum of Ancient Civilizations;
  7. Taking advantage of existing dialogue mechanisms to identify best practices in the promotion, protection and preservation of our peoples' heritage and cultural rights at local and national levels;
  8. Identify possible obstacles in the promotion and protection of cultural rights, and submiting collectively, proposals for action in relevant bodies;
  9. Undertake activities related to the Forum and promoting the participation of other States, as observer in the first instance, subject to prior consensus;
  10. Reaffirm the commitment for the protection of the cultural, philosophical, scientific and architectural heritage of our civilizations, promoting their diffusion and conservation through academic fora;
  11. Highlight the vitality of our cultures and their current relevance; and
  12. Promote the recognition and visibility of ancient civilizations and cultures which strengthen dialogue among peoples in a multicultural world.

8. To encourage communication among participating States and other stakeholders regarding cultural exchanges and cooperation in all related fields.

9. To conduct dialogue and consultations with a view to reaching coordinated positions where appropriate, on issues of major importance relating to the protection of cultural heritage, within the relevant international organizations, such as UNESCO.

10. To examine the most appropriate ways to improve the Forum's efforts to optimize the use of culture as an effective tool for contemporary diplomacy.

11. In the framework of concrete cooperation and following the results of the First Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of Ancient Civilizations in Athens, in order to gain better understanding of technical projects in the fields of culture and tourism, the Second Ministerial Meeting to encourages to the Academic Forum of 21 September 2018 to conduct a study and prepare a report to be presented to the next Ministerial Meeting.

12. The Ministerial Meeting to mandate the Permanent Delegations of the Forum’s Member States to UNESCO and other official channels with a coordination role concerning the activities of the Forum and the relevant national authorities.

13. To work together, as appropriate, and in coordination with UNESCO, in order to safeguard the historical and cultural heritage of the members of the Forum.

14. To welcome the Republic of Armenia as a full- fledged member of the Forum.

15. That China would give a positive consideration of hosting the next Ministerial Meeting of the Forum. Further details would be negotiated through diplomatic channels.