Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Culture a driver for development and the achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals, says UNESCO Director General

The UNESCO website states the following:

"Culture has a key role to play in reaching the development goals, concluded participants at a roundtable discussion opened by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova at the Millennium Summit in New York on Tuesday 21 September 2010."

"The event was co-chaired by African Union Chairman Jean Ping and Commissioner for Development of the European Commission Andris Piebalgs, who announced a one million euro strategic E.U./UNESCO partnership to improve the system of governance for culture in developing countries. […]

"'Over the past decade, we have seen a welcome new trend evolving, mainly in developing countries,' Irina Bokova said. 'I am speaking about culture as an economic driver: a creator of jobs and revenues; a means of making poverty eradication strategies relevant and more effective at the local level.'

"The power of culture to drive development was also underscored by Jean Ping, who announced the launching of a two-year regional campaign for the Renaissance of African Cultures intended to promote regional integration by building on the wealth of Africa's cultural diversity and the dynamism of the cultural sector in Africa.

"President Wade called for eradicating from within potential harmful cultural practices that still tend to incorrectly demonstrate that culture can be an obstacle to development. Senegal would launch, he said, a country-wide initiative to support capacity-building of African cultural industries that are particularly dynamic, so as to develop economic outlets towards a sustainable cultural industry, and he asked for UNESCO's support in this endeavour."

The full text of the address by Ms. Bokova is available in English on the UNESCO website. All documents relating to the round table are also available on the UNESCO website.