Arab States Regional Consultations launched for the upcoming UNESCO – Mondiacult 2022 Conference

Over 120 participants from the Arab region, including ministers, governmental stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and specialized networks joined the Arab States Regional Consultations on culture policies for sustainable development, organized by UNESCO on 16-17 February 2022.

Chaired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with Tunisia as a vice-chair and Egypt as the rapporteur, this Regional Consultation is part of an inclusive and participatory process aimed at informing the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies – Mondiacult 2022, which will be convened by the Director-General of UNESCO and will be hosted by the Government of Mexico on 28-30 September 2022.

Composed of five thematic areas, this Regional consultation for the Arab States discussed the role of culture and heritage as a driver of recovery and sustainable development, opportunities and challenges for culture in the context of digitalization, harnessing the potential of heritage for peace and inclusion, strengthening the creative economy, as well as boosting the role of education and capacity-building in culture for better youth engagement and employment. The results of the Regional consultation for the Arab States enriched the milestones achieved through the consultations held until now in all the other regions of the world.

Forty years after the first historic conference on cultural policies and development Mondiacult held in Mexico City in 1982, and twenty-four years after the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development held in Stockholm in 1998, the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies - Mondiacult 2022 will provide new impetus to the global policy dialogue on culture for sustainable development spearheaded by UNESCO.

In the second day, the Regional Consultation included a High-level Ministerial segment in which eighteen ministers from the Arab states and their representatives addressed key priority areas that can contribute to shaping a more robust and resilient cultural sector in their respective countries as well as the Arab region. Notably, minister statements called upon promoting the creative economy, supporting Member States in adopting and effectively implementing their cultural policies to better respond to contemporary challenges, and advancing the contribution of culture sector to socio-economic development and wellbeing in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.