After a long period of turmoil, Afghanistan is beginning its second decade of democratic governance. The emerging government has had to manage ongoing instability while taking steps to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, which has been devastated by over 30 years of conflict and neglect. Further exacerbating these rebuilding challenges is the geographic isolation and limited access to resources of some parts of the country.

While the rehabilitation process in Afghanistan typically focuses on infrastructure, rebuilding can also advance the goal of national unity by promoting positive public discourse and cross-cultural understanding. As a result, ethnic diversity can be seen as a collective benefit, rather than a source of fragmentation and conflict.

To this end, UNESCO and the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, with the generous financial support of the Republic of Korea, are implementing a project to build the Bamiyan Cultural Centre. The Centre will be located near the boundary of the World Heritage property, the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley. The purpose of the project is to promote heritage safe-guarding and cross-cultural awareness, and thereby contribute to the broader aims of reconciliation, peace-building and economic development in the country.