Culture & Development” Forum, culminating the national consultations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Bamako, Mali – On Saturday 1 November 2014, at the International Conference Centre of Bamako (CICB), a forum for national consultation on the theme of “Culture and Development” was held, bringing together more than 150 participants from all regions of Mali. This forum, as the final stage in a series of consultations that began last August, is part of the national consultations initiated by the United Nations in order to feed the elaboration process of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Along with Ecuador, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Morocco, Mali is one of the five countries whose application has been accepted by the UN Development Group (UNDG) to conduct national consultations on the theme of "Culture and Development". The process was coordinated by the Mali Ministry of Culture, with the support of UNESCO, UNDP and UNFPA. Culture as a driver for sustainable development The forum was opened under the chairmanship of Ms. N'Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture, and Mr....

Bamako, MaliOn Saturday 1 November 2014, at the International Conference Centre of Bamako (CICB), a forum for national consultation on the theme of “Culture and Development” was held, bringing together more than 150 participants from all regions of Mali. This forum, as the final stage in a series of consultations that began last August, is part of the national consultations initiated by the United Nations in order to feed the elaboration process of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Along with Ecuador, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Morocco, Mali is one of the five countries whose application has been accepted by the UN Development Group (UNDG) to conduct national consultations on the theme of "Culture and Development". The process was coordinated by the Mali Ministry of Culture, with the support of UNESCO, UNDP and UNFPA.

Culture as a driver for sustainable development

The forum was opened under the chairmanship of Ms. N'Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture, and Mr. David Gressly, Resident Coordinator of the UN System, in the presence of Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Lazare Eloundou, UNESCO Representative in Mali, Mr. Boubou Dramane Camara, Country Director of UNDP, and Mr. Makane Kane, UNFPA Representative in Mali.

In addition to these notable figures, the mayors of Gao, Timbuktu and Menaka, parliamentarians and several traditional leaders were also present. The event was the ideal platform for dialogue to address culture from all angles: as a catalyst for socio-economic change, for sustainable development and for the strengthening of social cohesion in the country.

"This national consultation carries great importance for Mali as much by its scope and challenges as by demonstrating the confidence the international community has in us. It is the manifestation of a strong commitment to place culture at the heart of policies and development strategies in the final stage of the Post-2015 Agenda," declared Ms. N'Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo during the opening ceremony.

"There is no doubt that the arguments from the national consultations will demonstrate that culture is an instrument of tolerance, mutual understanding, peace, reconciliation, reconstruction, and also one of development," added Mr. David Gressly in his speech.

Following the crisis in Mali between 2012 and 2013, the reconstruction and consolidation of the nation’s identity and social fabric is integrated in the dialogues at all levels of society. It is for this reason that through the participation of various partiesrepresentatives of Mali’s cultural, geographical and professional identitythe forum has, among other things, provided a coherent vision of Malian culture linked to sustainable development, the development of recommendations to improve advocacy for greater consolidation of culture in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and to finalize the process of national consultation.

Fruitful discussions around several subthemes

The contributions from participants focused on structuring the final report for the consultations. Such final report will summarize the arguments put forth by Mali building around the following three sub-themes: "Culture, Environment and Climate Change", "Culture and Poverty Reduction" and "Culture, Inclusion and National Reconciliation." Participants also indicated a specific vision as to how culture could be further used as a resource for the country’s development.

Finally, the contributions made at this final session will serve to validate the final report stemming from the national consultations held in Mali, chaired by Professor Adama Samassékou, taking into account that the report will be submitted to the Post-2015 Secretariat of the United Nations on 10 November 2014.