Discussing the Future of Cultural Policies in Republic of Korea

On 31 May 2016, a conference on cultural policies and the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, at the auditorium of I-um Arts Centre.

The conference was organized by the Korean Cultural and Tourism Institute (KCTU), a research think tank working with the government, local authorities and the private sector on cultural policy issues.

Participating in the round table discussions, among other invited scholars and experts, were: Lee Wan, Director of Asiansori, an NGO working to protect and promote cultural rights of foreigners in South Korea, especially immigrant workers from Asian Countries; Hyunsun Jang, Director of JnP Group, a research and consulting company focusing on cultural policy and creative industries;  Jeonga Yu, Chief of the Culture and Art Research Unit (KCTI), and Kyuwon Kim, Researcher at KCTI.

Danielle Cliche, Secretary of the 2005 Convention and Chief of the Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, presented on this occasion UNESCO’s Global Report “Re-shaping Cultural Policies”, published in December 2015 to track and monitor the impact of the Convention.

Lively discussions during the debates focused on a wide range of issues starting with the origins of the Convention and the concepts of cultural diversity and of the diversity of cultural expressions, the possibility for levels of ODA for culture to return back to the level of 1% (prior to the global economic crisis), the greater involvement of civil society in policy design and implementation as well as in the preparation of the quadrennial periodic reports, special visas for artists travelling to and working in the Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea, Party to the 2005 Convention since 2010, has brought significant support to the promotion, and implementation of the Convention, through the Korean Funds-in-Trust (KFIT) established in 2008 to support the development of cultural and creative industries in developing countries. UNESCO has been since implementing a series of KFIT projects in Mongolia, Uganda, and Viet Nam. New projects are to be implemented in 2016-2017 in Lao PDR, Rwanda and Uzbekistan.  The Republic of Korea submitted its first Quadrennial Periodic Report in 2015. Next Report is due in 2018.