Culture for Sustainable Development

Culture is who we are and what shapes our identity. No development can be sustainable without including culture.

In September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, with 17 ambitious, universal goals to transform our world.

UNESCO ensures that the role of culture is recognized through a majority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those focusing on quality education, sustainable cities, the environment, economic growth, sustainable consumption and production patterns, peaceful and inclusive societies, gender equality and food security.

From cultural heritage to cultural and creative industries, Culture is both an enabler and a driver of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

UNESCO's work promoting cultural diversity, and UNESCO’s Culture Conventions, are key to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, this has been reflected in the following milestone documents:

2016: The Global Report on Culture and Sustainable Urban Development

December 2015 : The International Conference on "Culture for Sustainable Cities" in Hangzhou, People's Republic of China

December 2015: The 5th UN Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly – A/RES/69/230

2014: The Post-2015 Dialogues on Culture and Development co-led by UNESCO, UNDP and UNFPA

December 2014: The 4th UN Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly – A/RES/69/230

October 2014:   The UN Secretary-General’s report on culture and sustainable development submitted to the UN General Assembly, in implementation of Resolution A/RES/68/223

October 2014:   The “Florence Declaration” adopted at the UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries held in Florence, Italy

May 2014: The civil society campaign driven by a coalition of over 600 NGOs that has gathered some 2,000 signatures from 120 countries as of September 2014

May 2014: Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly on culture and development convened in New York

December 2013: The 3rd UN Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly - A/RES/68/223

November 2013: The 2013 Special Edition of the Creative Economy Report

November 2013: The “Bali Promise” adopted at the World Culture Forum held in Bali, Indonesia

November 2013: The UNESCO Resolution adopted by the General Conference on the need to pursue the advocacy to integrate culture in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

July 2013: Round Table on Culture and Sustainable Development in SIDS and the Post-2015 Agenda

July 2013: The Ministerial Declaration of the ECOSOC

June 2013: Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly on culture and development convened in New York

May 2013: The “Hangzhou Declaration” adopted at the Hangzhou International Congress on “Culture: Key to Sustainable Development held in Hangzhou, China


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