Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Mongolia
Mongolia increasingly recognizes culture and creativity as an enabler of sustainable development. The 2016 Quadrennial Periodic Report submitted by Mongolia details various achievements as well as obstacles while implementing cultural policies to support the development of its creative sector. One of the major challenges cited in the report is the lack of capacities, structures and human resources to reform cultural policies in order to keep up with rapid globalization, technological development and cultural demands. To address this issue, the Mongolian government has conceived an elaborate plan of action which include: educate Mongolian cultural actors about current trends, promote cultural education, train human resource professionals, encourage initiatives and the creativity of artists, enable cultural entrepreneurs through exhibition opportunities, market locally produced cultural goods, and improve the social security of creative workers. The adoption of the State Policy on Industrial Sector in 2015 represents a clear commitment of the Mongolian government to support the cultural and creative industries.
The UNESCO project on participatory policy monitoring provides a timely opportunity for diverse Mongolian stakeholders from arts, culture and media to come together and discuss ways to foster Mongolia’s creative expressions through policies and measures.
On 9 May 2019, over 120 participants sat down together during the Mongolian Innovation Week 2019 at a multi-stakeholder consultation meeting to examine existing and future initiatives which support contemporary cultural expressions. The participants discussed topics such as reinforcing human resources in creative businesses, developing access of Mongolian cultural goods and services in Mongolia and abroad, why young people watch American or Russian movies, and what can be done to promote domestic contents.
In particular, participants discussed how best to collect and share data as well as to identify achievements and challenges of their cultural policies with the upcoming Quadrennial Periodic Reporting in mind; the reporting is designed to ignite innovative, forward-looking and evidence-based cultural policymaking, is based on multi‐stakeholder dialogues between government and civil society.
A national training workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 10-12 September 2019, organized by UNESCO Beijing Office and the Culture and Arts Authority of the Government of Mongolia. The Mongolian National Team, composed of cultural actors including government agencies, universities and civil society organization, participated in the training. Led by UNESCO’s Expert Facility members Charles Vallerand and Bodibaatar Jigjidsuren, the National Team members learned how to engage in evidence-based, participatory policymaking and policy monitoring.
Drawing on the new information and tools acquired at the training, the Team is expected to prepare and submit a comprehensive Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR), backed by research and data, to the Secretariat of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). The QPR is an obligatory assessment report on cultural policies, initiatives and efforts that were implemented with the aim of stimulating the cultural and creative industries. Mongolia’s next Report is due on 30 April 2020.
Following the national training workshop, Create l 2030, a UNESCO discussion series on topics related to the creative sector, was organized under the theme “Capturing the voices of creative workers.” The panel created a space for artists and civil society members to share their thoughts on the current state of cultural governance, sowing the seeds of future cultural policies that effectively and accurately address the needs on the ground.
A one-day media diversity workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 13 September 2019. The civil society organisations and media professionals in attendance were introduced to the members and the work of the Mongolian National Team, and encouraged to actively and regularly share their thoughts and concerns with the Team so the inputs can be reflected in future policies.
Media diversity is one of core topics addressed by the UNESCO 2005 Convention. Charles Vallerand, a member of UNESCO’s Expert Facility, led the workshop: the session empowered media professionals to engage in policy dialogue and to advocate for issues related to the diversity of cultural expressions and media.
A public presentation of Mongolia’s periodic report was organised on 22 October 2020 gathering more than 150 stakeholders, including representatives of different public authorities, the national team, and civil society organisations. The public presentation presented a unique opportunity to reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the culture and creative sectors and on the next set of priorities for policymaking. Members of the national team additionally disseminated the results and process of the QPR on national television.
The Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, in partnership with the UNESCO Beijing Office, organized a series of five ResiliArt debates between October 2020 and April 2021 addressing the various challenges faced by the cultural and creative sector in the country. The first debate (21 October 2020) focused on the impact of Covid and addressed the discoverability of local contents in the digital environment. The second (11 November 2020) focused on women and gender equality in the culture and creative sectors. The third (27 January 2021) focused on challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the development of cultural and creative industries. The fourth debate (23 February 2021) aimed to discuss the impact of COVID-19 crisis on the museum sector. The fifth and last debate (15 April 2021) gathered creative workers and cultural professionals to discuss measures to develop a resilient cultural sector.
Building on the ResiliArt cycle, a list of recommendations covering eleven field of action to facilitate the development of future policies and measures was elaborated and was handed over to the Ministry of Culture in June 2021 by the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO.
On the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2021 and within the framework of the Mongolian Innovation Week
, the Ministry of Education and Science, the State University of Arts and Culture, and the Ministry of Culture of Mongolia organized the International Cultural and Creative Industry Conference. The Conference provided the opportunity to present and discuss the recommendations emanating from the ResiliArt movement in Mongolia and marked the 2021 International Year for the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.
All debates are available (in Mongolian only) on the facebook page of the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO.
On the occasion of the 2022 World Art Day (15 April 2022), the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Beijing Office hosted a launch event of the 2022 Global Report “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar. The event was opened by the Deputy Minister of Culture of Mongolia, the Director and Representative of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office, the Counsellor for Cultural Affairs of the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing. The Deputy Minister notably highlighted that the “Vision 2050: Mongolian Long-Term Development Policy”, adopted by the Government of Mongolia, incorporates cultural and creative industry as one of the key 6 priority areas for the economic development of Mongolia.
The launch was followed by a roundtable discussion with civil society representatives to discuss ways to maintain the momentum of the ResiliArt Movement and the SIDA II project in the country, re-vitalize the National Team, complement the ongoing IFCD project, and further contribute to implementing the 2005 Convention in Mongolia. The event gathered around 70 participants, including 67% of women and resulted in a series of recommendations. Half of the 43 organizations represented were CSOs and medium and small-scale enterprises from the cultural and creative sectors. In order to facilitate the dissemination of the report’s findings in the country, the Executive Summary of the third edition was translated into Mongolian and distributed among participants.