Cultural diversity

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Commonwealth Statement on Culture and Development

The Commonwealth Foundation will issue the Commonwealth Statement on Culture and Developmentat the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago from November 27 to 29.

The Commonwealth Group on Culture and Development drew up the statement, which makes culture a central pillar of the Commonwealth’s mandate.

The group is urging Commonwealth heads of government to endorse its findings at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and take forward its recommendations through strengthened partnerships. The statement seeks to shed light on and reinforce existing ties between culture and development in a spirit of sustainable development. It also aims to celebrate culture’s contribution to conflict prevention and the creative economy.
“Commonwealth member states are urged to

  • Empower and strengthen cultural ministries and national heritage, cultural, and arts agencies and ensure crosssector working, including integration of cultural considerations in other policy areas, e.g., social welfare, trade, health, and education
  • Recognize and work with local and indigenous cultural resources, languages, and governance processes to ensure more sustainable economic, environmental, and social development
  • Promote investment in the creative industries, in cultural expression, and in the safeguarding of cultural assets, and the development of cultural policies, in recognition of the contribution of these to development”

In addition to being issued at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the statement will also be studied at the Commonwealth People’s Forum, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in late November. An action plan will be prepared in collaboration with civil society.

The Commonwealth Group on Culture and Development is made up of thirteen experts and practitioners from government and civil society in Commonwealth countries.

The statement is available in full from the Commonwealth Foundation website.

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