Cultural diversity

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Concluding document of the International Culture and Development Seminar in Gerona, Spain

In preparation for the Review Summit on Millennium Development Goals in New York in September, the International Culture and Development Seminar was held in Gerona, Spain, in early May. The concluding document for the meeting, as well as several other texts of interest, are available on the symposium website . On the topic of Culture and Cultural Diversity Governance, the document stated that

“The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural
Expressions provides the international community with a normative framework and a vision that recognizes multiple identities, the relationship between culture and sustainable development, the fight against poverty, and both the symbolic and economic values of cultural goods.

“This framework must be translated into national action plans which can bring a holistic and
intersectoral focus to cultural policies as an instrument of social transformation and citizenship. Furthermore, it is crucial to get civil society involved, including artists, intellectuals, and professionals, through actions of awareness raising and information as well as fostering active participation. It is also important to create spaces for encounter and consensus between different agents that play a role in the field of cultural action and diversity.

“There was a consensus on the importance of fostering the role of local cultural policies as agents of sustainable development following the examples of the Agenda 21 for Culture that underlines the role of culture as the forth pillar of sustainable development, and the UNESCO Creative Cities Program.

“Finally, several elements were identified as regards the need to improve the effectiveness of policies oriented to cultural diversity and development, such as the elaboration of methodologies for planning and evaluation in the cultural sector.”

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