Countdown to MONDIACULT World Conference

6 September 2022

The cultural sector, more than any other policy domain, has the capacity to adapt across time, building on the dynamic essence of culture itself. In a fragmented, volatile and uncertain world, multilateral dialogue is needed more than ever before to address issues that transcend national borders. Culture is the bridge between peoples and countries, the platform for inclusive and collaborative problem-solving, and the key to unlocking mutual understanding and reinforcing global action based human rights and respect for diversity. This is the essence of MONDIACULT 2022.

MONDIACULT 2022: What is at stake

Forty years after the first MONDIACULT World Conference, gathered Ministers of Culture in Mexico City, MONDIACULT 2022 is a time to pause, take stock of progress, reflect on challenges and chart a new course. During those intervening decades, the global cultural policy landscape has evolved profoundly. At the international level, a new broader definition of culture was adopted, and new normative instruments have been developed, providing updated policy guidance for living heritage, underwater cultural heritage, creativity, the role of museums, culture in the urban landscape and, crucially, the vital importance of cultural diversity. At the national level, unlike the situation in 1982, a great number of countries have now established culture ministries or institutions and enacted cultural policies. The undisputed social and economic value of the culture sector has led to evolutions in its role as reflected by the growing policy investment in cultural tourism or cultural diplomacy or novel approaches such as cultural literacy. While the State remains central to devise public policy, guarantee fundamental rights, and regulate the cultural sector, other stakeholders engaged in cultural policy-making from local governments and civil society organizations, to subregional and regional organizations, as well as private sector actors hold an equally crucial role.

Furthermore, over the past few years, culture have become more firmly embedded in broader sustainable development policy frameworks and debates, at global, regional and local levels. Culture underpins all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting its impact across the public policy spectrum, from social inclusion and economic growth, to education, climate action and urban policies. High levels of participation in the UNESCO Forum of Ministers of Culture in 2019 demonstrated a deep desire on the part of countries to reinvest in global policy dialogue on culture for sustainable development. The unprecedented inclusion of culture in the G20 between 2019 and 2021, under the respective presidencies of Saudi Arabia and Italy, marked a major step forward, leading to the first ever G20 ministerial Declaration on culture in July 2021. In addition, regional and sub-regional organizations also proved instrumental in amplifying this momentum, notably through supporting regional culture ministerial dialogue, data collection, policy monitoring and evidence-building, as well as joint advocacy efforts. A strengthened UN Resolution on Culture and Development (A/C.2/70/L.59) further reflects and amplifies countries commitment across public policy domains and culture is increasingly integrated as a crosscutting dimension in the work of UN agencies, funds and programmes.

MONDIACULT 2022 has two specific aims:
to draw a future roadmap for cultural policies, which integrates country priorities and promotes the role of culture for sustainable development;
to anchor culture as a global public good in the public policy agenda and support its recognition as a sustainable development goal in itself, as well as consolidate permanent multilateral dialogue and promote efficient data collection.

More information available here.

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