ABU DHABI, -- The Arab Thought Foundation released on Sunday its Ninth Annual Arab Report on Cultural Development, ahead of the FIKR15 conference being held in Abu Dhabi this week under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and in cooperation with the Arab League.

The event will take place from 12th to 14th December.

The report was unveiled at a ceremony by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation; and Professor Henri Awit, Director General of the Arab Thought Foundation.

The report, entitled "Culture and Cultural Integration in the GCC: Policies, Institutions and Manifestations", compiles extensive analyses and assessments of the initiatives, organizations and trends surrounding cultural development in the GCC. Studies were carried out by high-ranking officials, leading researchers, and prominent academics from throughout the Arab world and beyond, in order to provide objective and varied accounts.

The report and conference reflect the Arab Thought Foundation's goals of bringing unity to the Arab world through cultural and intellectual initiatives and programs.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said, "This report is a comprehensive study that discusses all aspects of culture and thought surrounding life in the Arab Gulf region, and focuses on culture and cultural integration within member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council."

"The report clearly demonstrates the eagerness within Gulf states to develop cultural and intellectual creativity within their communities, and we can be confident that these initiatives have been successful. Cultural development is an integral part of the development of society itself, but it is also a prerequisite for achieving successful and sustainable economic progress," he added.

"This report seeks to explore the prospects for a bright and welcoming future," the minister added.

For his part, HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal said, "A nation without culture has no civilisation. As such, there can be no national, political or economic progress, except through culture, which is a true and genuine guideline."

HRH explained that the report comes as the ninth in a series of reports prepared and published by the Arab Thought Foundation every year. The reports provide accurate information about the cultural situation in the Arab world.

Also representing the Foundation, Dr Henri Awit said, "The Arab Thought Foundation firmly believes in the active role of culture in nation-building and development, as well as the crucial role of intellectuals in community development and advancement, in line with its mission, objectives and interests."

"Cultural development is a central part of social development and a basic requirement for achieving sustainable progress on all fronts," he continued.

Dr Awit also stated that the report is an important step for demonstrating that successful cultural development in the Gulf region is predicated on joint action and collaboration between all parties.

Split into three sections, the report covers cultural policies and strategies, cultural institutions, and cultural creativity in the GCC. This follows on previous themes of Arab cultural integration, which have been addressed by the Arab Thought Foundation and discussed at its annual FIKR conferences.

Source: Emirates News Agency