Pekalongan, the Batik City located on the north coast of Central Java, best known for its.distinct colourful Batiks that are infused with Chinese influence, was officially included by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) into world’s Creative Cities Network in the “Crafts and Folk Arts” category. Pekalongan is the first Indonesian city to have made it to this prestigious Network.
In 2009, Indonesian Batik, with its intricate process, and diverse designs created throughout this archipelago containing deep philosphical values, was designated by UNESCO an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” .
Basyir Ahmad, Mayor of Pekalongan,said Wednesday that this recognition received by the city of Pekalongan being included in the World’s global Creative Cities Network , was only known from UNESCO’s official website.
“I read on the official website of UNESCO that Pekalongan was acknowledged as member of the World’s Creative Cities Network. We are thankful for this, since this is an extraordinary achievement for the city of Pekalongan to gain such international recognition”, stated Basyir Achmad as reported by republika.co.id.
Pekalongan is the first Indonesian city listed as member of UNESCO’s World’s Creative Cities Network. Following the 2014 Call for applications, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, designated 28 cities from 19 countries as new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The network aims to foster international cooperation among cities committed to investing in creativity as a drive towardssustainable urban development, social inclusion and enhanced influence of cultural in the world.
“The UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a tremendous tool for cooperation, it reflects our commitment to support an amazing creative and innovative potential to broaden the avenues of sustainable development,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, as quoted from its official press release.
The Network covers seven thematic areas: Craft and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music. It aims to promote international cooperation and encourage the sharing of experiences and resources in order to promote local development through culture and creativity. By joining the Network, cities commit to collaborate and develop partnerships with a view to promoting creativity and cultural industries, to share best practices, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture in economic and social development plans.
With the latest addition of designated cities, the number of UNESCO Creative Cities Network members now totals 69.