Chance to promote Kuching at Santos UNESCO conference


KUCHING: A delegation from the Sarawak capital city will be attending the XIV UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) annual conference in its capacity as a City of Gastronomy.

This year’s conference is to be held in the Brazilian city of Santos, which has a rich film legacy dating back to the 1900s. Santos has been named Creative City of Film.

This year’s event from July 18 to 22 themed ‘Creativity, path to equality’, is the first in two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also marks Kuching’s first attendance since its designation to the UCCN in November 2021.

Kuching South Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said this would be a great opportunity for Kuching to make new links with other network cities.

“The conference is open to all 295 Creative Cities around the world and it is the network’s key platform for knowledge sharing and exchange.

“We will be formally inducted into the network and also get the chance to share our views and experience as a city, particularly important during this period of rebuilding after the pandemic.

“We are very grateful to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia for its support which has allowed us to send delegates in this first year of our membership,” Wee said in a statement.

Wee said it was a great opportunity for Kuching to brand itself within this collaborative network and to tell the world about all the amazing activities, events and programmes underway in the gastronomy and creative sectors from both private and public agencies.

“This runs from ‘foodpreneur’ programmes like SAGO (Sarawak Gastronomy) incubator to gastronomy conferences planned for the end of the year, like EAT Borneo and Nyamai. Not to mention all our festivals, including Kuching Festival, coming back soon. We want to make sure we represent our city as a whole to the best of our abilities

“The delegation from Kuching is made up of Datin Dona Drury Wee, chairperson of Culinary Heritage and Arts Society Sarawak (CHASS) and a representative of civil society, and Karen Shepherd, the newly-appointed focal point of this project and a representative of the creative economy itself.

“This is how Kuching as a city of gastronomy will be working going forward. It is very much a cooperative framework and we urge interested parties in the city to make contact with any information or activities that they would like to share with the network,” he said.

Meanwhile, UCCN Kuching will be holding a forum on July 13 to engage with the city’s stakeholders to get feedback before the delegation departs.

It is to anyone involved in either the gastronomy sector or the city’s creative industries, where everyone will be given an opportunity to share his or her experience.

Further details are obtainable from the UCCN Kuching team at

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