On 12 March, the Director-General met in New York 25 Ambassadors to the UN, members of the Group of Friends for culture and development, at a working breakfast organized by Peru's Ambassador, who chairs the group.
Irina Bokova highlighted the urgency of integrating culture onto the development agenda, basing her arguments on the strong evidence of the direct linkage between culture and sustainability, as well as the recent international recognition of the strong impact of culture on human development.
The Director-General recalled that the stakes are high and that the international community should not miss the historic opportunity to recognize the role of culture as an enabler for sustainable development.
The Ambassadors, representing all geographical regions, supported UNESCO's vision of culture as a cross cutting issue that has to be mainstreamed in the sustainable development goals and they voiced strong commitment to endorse its inclusion in the Post 2015 Agenda.
They came up with concrete proposals on how to ensure the success of this common endeavour and identified concrete venues to achieve it through the action of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals and the upcoming thematic debate of the President of the UN General Assembly. They agreed to enhance their collaboration and concerted efforts in reaching out to other relevant partners and stakeholders supportive of the issue.
The Ambassador of Peru pledged to continue raising awareness about the activities of the group and to support every chance of highlighting the impact of culture on the ground and at the global level.