Andrea Blick’s speech – City of Design Launch

Lord Provost, Cabinet Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen I take great pleasure in attending the launch of the UNESCO Dundee Creative City of Design and thank you for the invitation.

On behalf of UNESCO and on behalf of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, the Chair, the Directors and the Secretariat, I am pleased to welcome Dundee to the UK UNESCO family, and to the vibrant UK Creative Cities Network and offer our congratulations.

The existing Creative Cities in the UK also convey their best wishes.  They have formed a dynamic and close knit network and look forward to a good working relationship with you.

It may be of interest to you that the UK National Commission for UNESCO has just embarked on the third version of a paper we will be working on for the next few years called the Wider Value of UNESCO to the UK.  This looks at the value UNESCO brings to the UK.  This year we have extended our research to include not only the financial benefits but also the non financial value that UNESCO brings by drawing upon the experience of the UNESCO family in the UK.  We look forward to working with Dundee, and with York who also joined the network at the same time as a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts, as they set out on the journey.

Mrs Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, said in her letter confirming the designation, “I am confident that the city of Dundee will fulfil the commitments it has made in applying to the Network, and that it will take an active part in the Network’s joint activities. I know that I can count on your city’s innovative spirit, as well as on its sense of solidarity with cities from developing countries, whose participation should be encouraged further.”
I have been asked to pass on good wishes from other UNESCO Creative Cities from around the world, which reminds us that Dundee has joined the UNESCO global Creative Cities Network as well as the UK Network.

1) Dr Yan Aoshuang, Director of Beijing City of Design and Wang Anshun, Mayor of Beijing, China send their congratulations, stating that “Dundee is a city full of vitality. It has a profound culture and long history of innovation and creativity. Beijing hopes that, on the platform of the Creative Cities Network, the two cities can deepen design cooperation, share success stories, boost the development of the design industry and jointly meet challenges for achieving sustainable development”.

2) Fumio Ueda, Mayor of Sapporo, Japan sends heartfelt congratulations, saying “Sapporo joined in just November 2013 and has already in such a short period of time received much inspiration through the Network. I hope that in joining the ranks of other internationally renowned creative cities gathered by this Network, your city will, like ours, receive many benefits from this membership as well as provide back valuable contributions”.

3) Kizo Hisamoto, Mayor of Kobe, Japan offers sincere congratulations, saying “I very much hope that henceforth we will be able to increase our cooperation and exchange, and share our knowledge and experiences through the Creative Cities Network, leading to the mutual development of both Dundee and Kobe”.

4) Ibon Areso, Mayor of Bilbao, Spain, who also join as a new member, sends congratulations, saying “We hope that this exceptional opportunity will enable us to develop activities in cooperation with your city and other cities of the network”.
Finally, Dundee would like to express thanks to the UNESCO Creative Cities of Design who gave support for their application, namely:

Montreal, Canada; Saint-Étienne, France; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Seoul, Korea; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and; Shenzhen, China.

On a personal note I would like to congratulate the Dundee bid team, led by Stewart Murdoch and Brian Beattie, who worked so hard on the application. I know they will take forward the commitments made for the city of Dundee as it seeks to develop international cooperation with other creative cities, sharing experience, knowledge and resources as a means to promote the development of local creative industries and to foster worldwide cooperation for sustainable urban development.

Thank you.

Andrea Blick, UNESCO.