Comores takes stock of its efforts to promote the creative industries for sustainable development

As a signatory to the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2013, Comores is now preparing its first Periodic Report on implementation of the Convention.

UNESCO is supporting Comores with the preparation of their first quadrennial periodic report on national implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention by providing an expert from the 2005 Convention Expert Facility to guide the national authorities step by step through the requirements for their national report preparation, which is due this year. Ms. Tojo Yharimanana Rakotomalala, an expert in cultural and creative industries and cultural policy from Madagascar, is undertaking a one week mission to Moroni from 11 to 15 September 2017 in order to advise the Direction of Arts and Culture and lead consultations with civil society and other stakeholders.

The 2005 Convention ensures artists, cultural professionals, practitioners and citizens worldwide can create, produce, disseminate and enjoy a broad range of cultural goods, services and activities, including their own.  Recognizing that culture can no longer be just a by-product of development, but rather the mainspring for sustainable development, the Convention ushers in a new international framework for the governance and management of culture.

The Periodic Reporting process provides an—often unique--opportunity for national authorities to initiate an open dialogue with cultural practitioners and other stakeholders in order to review the concrete measures they have taken to promote and protect the cultural and creative industries as well as the actions undertaken by individuals or civil society. A critical evaluation of challenges faced and accomplishments gained over the past four years enables the report to point the way forward for policy and capacity building changes needed in the next four years in order to benefit from the potential of the cultural and creative industries to contribute to sustainable development.

Comores will examine the impact of national events such as the Contemporary Arts Festival and the Comores International Film Festival as well as their participation in international cultural events such as the Avignon Theatre Festival in France. The goal of the Periodic Reporting process is to encourage the introduction of cultural policies and measures that nurture creativity, provide access for creators to participate in domestic and international marketplaces where their artistic works/expressions can be recognized and compensated and ensure these expressions are accessible to the public at large. It also aims to recognise and optimise the overall contribution of the cultural industries to economic and social development, particularly in developing countries such as the Union of Comores. The Periodic Report also serves as a means to integrate culture into sustainable development strategies and national development policies. Lastly, it works to promote international cooperation to facilitate the mobility of artists as well as the flow of cultural goods and services, especially those from the South.

As a State Party to the 2005 Convention, Comores has made a commitment to systematically collecting information and data, statistics and best practices on policy measures in their country that promote the diversity of cultural expressions. They also committed to increase transparency by sharing and exchanging this information at the international level. Comores final Periodic Report will be published on the UNESCO web site and will also form part of UNESCO’s Global Policy Monitoring Report, which highlights trends and innovative practices, policies and measures.