The first Edinburgh International Culture Summit has been hailed a success as it ended on Tuesday.
Speakers gathered from around the world over the past two days to discuss the ways in which culture can bring countries closer together.
The summit, held at the Scottish Parliament, was a collaboration between the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the Edinburgh International Festival and the British Council.
Culture ministers, artists and others involved in developing and implementing cultural policy discussed the power, position and profile of the arts, culture and creative industries.
Countries with current or recent experiences of conflict, including Iraq and Northern Ireland, took part in debates on how culture can act as a bridge between divided communities and assist in reconciliation.
Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The lively debates and fascinating discussions of the past two days have demonstrated that culture is a hugely powerful means of international dialogue, one that enriches the lives of people around the world and contributes to the well-being of nations.
"This inaugural Edinburgh International Culture Summit has undoubtedly enhanced Scotland's reputation as one of the world's most creative nations and a good global citizen."
There are plans for the summit to be held again in Edinburgh in two years' time.
UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "The Olympic opening and closing ceremonies showcased UK culture to the world, but also reminded us what a talented and creative nation we are.
"The summit was a unique opportunity to engage with culture ministers from around the world, to debate the importance of culture and to exchange views on the most effective ways governments can promote it.
"I hope we will build on this and have regular exchanges in the years to come."
There were representatives from developing nations such as Malawi, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Zambia at the summit.
Jasleen Dhamija, a historian from New Delhi, told delegates how a billion people worked in traditional craft industries around the world, passing their skills from generation to generation.
Ms Dhamija said: "Today a galaxy of ministers of culture, artists, thinkers and social scientists are gathered together to address the role of culture in facing global challenges.
"I would like to reach out to all of you to recognise the importance of this sector which not only addresses our economic problems but which provides a new format for our educational system to tap available skills."
Four young Scots helped to welcome international ministers and delegates to the event. Nathan Dunn, 16, from North Perthshire, Ashleigh O'Connor-Hanlon, 18, from Aberdeen and 17-year-olds Shannon Sinclair from Arbroath and Sarah Milne from Stonehaven volunteered for the role as they all have an interest in international cultures.
Nathan said: "I have been speaking to ministers from around the world and finding out about what initiatives and programmes other countries have in place to help young people become more active in their communities.
"Volunteering at the summit has been great and it has given me lots of experience and knowledge about how young people can make a positive difference."