On the eve of the Bicentenary of its Independence, Costa Rica reflects on the role of Culture in Sustainable Development

In the framework of the activities to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Independence of Costa Rica, UNESCO was invited to participate in the conference entitled "Past, present and future of the relationship between Art, Development and State in Costa Rica". This event, which took placed on 20 August and was organized by the Centre for Research, Teaching and Extension of the Arts (CIDEA) of the National University of Costa Rica (UNA), provided the opportunity to reflect on the role that the arts have played in the development of the country throughout its history, as well as the current situation of the artistic sectors, and the future possibilities of contributing to the development of the country through art.

The conference began with an intervention by Rafael Cuevas, professor at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the UNA, who offered a historical perspective of the contributions of art to the development of the country. Afterwards, Ms. Gladys Alzate, representative of the civil society organisation Cultural Emergency Network (REC), presented the challenges that the artistic and cultural sectors are facing today. Finally, Ms. Caroline Munier, Culture Programme Specialist at the UNESCO San José cluster Office, gave a presentation focused on the opportunities for the cultural sector to engage in building a better future through the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The arts and cultural sectors have a role to play in the 2030 Agenda and can contribute to its fulfilment in multiple ways. At the same time, these are sectors that should also benefit from sustainable development and be strengthened to this end.
Caroline Munier, Culture Programme Specialist UNESCO San Jose

For UNESCO, being part of this UNA initiative is a valuable opportunity to reach out to cultural workers, especially professional artists and artists in training, to invite them to actively contribute to achieving the main common goals of humanity. The 2030 Agenda requires the participation of all social sectors for its implementation, including arts and cultural associations, as well as academia and particularly youth.

UNESCO argues that culture is a cross-cutting element in the 2030 Agenda and that it relates, directly or indirectly, to most of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, culture can make important contributions to the Goals related to social inclusion and reduction of inequalities, decent work and economic growth, gender equality, climate action, youth, quality education and building just and peaceful societies.


You can watch the recording of the Conference here