NEW DELHI: Chennai has been included in the list of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed the inclusion of the Tamil Nadu capital which is steeped in multi-layered history.
As many as 64 cities from 44 countries have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by its Director General Irina Bokova.
"They join a network at the frontline of UNESCO's efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for a more sustainable and inclusive urban development. This network attracts growing interest from local authorities," the world body said in a statement.
The prime minister, in his tweet, congratulated the city.
"Congratulations to the people of Chennai on the city's inclusion in the @UNESCO Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition. Chennai's contribution to our rich culture is precious. This is a proud moment for India: PM," he said.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 180 cities in 72 countries.
Some of the other cities included along with Chennai are Alba (Italy) for gastronomy, Almaty (Kazakhstan) for music and Auckland (New Zealand) for music, according to UNESCO.
"These new designations showcase an enhanced diversity in city profiles and geographical balance, with 19 cities from countries not previously represented in the Network," the UNESCO director general said.
"The cooperation framework proposed to foster candidate cities from the Africa region--a UNESCO Global Priority--has been a true success with nine African cities now joining the network," Bokova said.
While differing geographically, demographically or economically, all creative cities commit to develop and exchange innovative best practices to promote creative industries, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies, the statement said.
"Within the framework of the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, the Network provides a platform for cities to demonstrate culture's role as an enabler for building sustainable cities," it added.