The three decades and a half since the founding of IOV by Alexander Veigl has proven that this organization is here to stay.
Members and officers have come and gone but the institution has continued in full steam thanks to many members who have cooperated and sustained the activities in their respective countries.
It is time to review the purpose and the objectives for which IOV was established.
In the spirit of the UNESCO Convention on the safeguarding and preservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the world IOV pursues the strategies along this line through its activities such as festivals, fora, workshops, assemblies covering the different elements of ICH such as traditional dance, music, crafts, cuisine, medicine and others.
A more important aspect of our strategies is the promotion of peace, mutual understanding, tolerance, respect among peoples of the world. Some may see the activities such as festivals and assemblies as mere gatherings of individuals but there is more to it than that. It is not an opportunity to serve one’s purpose but an opportunity to see what one can do for the other person.
There are many cultures that come together in one IOV event.
I have been witness to the coming together and reaching out to each other of delegates of countries in political conflicts. This does not affect the relationships of IOV members. We are above politics. Culture is a bridge not an obstacle to reconciliation and peace.
I, your President, wish to assure you that IOV will continue its mission in the light of the UNESCO convention and hope to strengthen the ties among its members under one banner of peace through cultural development.
I end with a quote from the UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.
International Organization of Folk Arts(IOV), UNESCO accredited