South Sudan: cultural policy review
UNESCO supported the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to organize a national review of their Culture Policy on 7 June 2018 with the aim of promoting the diversity of cultural expressions through policies and measures to foster creativity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion for peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic communities of South Sudan.
On 7 June 2018, UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports convened key national institutions for a one-day workshop at the UNESCO Office in Juba to shape national instruments and measures to provide guidance and promote opportunities for all South Sudanese to experience culture, participate and develop their creative abilities to promote quality and artistic renewal. The workshop was led by UNESCO expert Mr. Stephen Chifunyise and engaged participants in discussion on how to develop a national culture policy to protect and promote the diverse cultural and creative industries in South Sudan as well as to foster intercultural exchange and international cooperation.
The workshop was followed by a two-day training of local stakeholders from 8 to 9 June on how to develop project proposals and apply for funding from the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) under the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which was ratified by South Sudan in 2016.
Following the launch of UNESCO’s 2018 Global Report: Re|Shaping Cultural Policies, UNESCO is using the lessons learned and recommendations of the report to support the efforts of the national authorities to review their culture policy and strengthen their capacities to effectively implement the UNESCO 2005 Convention.
The review and capacity- building workshop brought together national authorities from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Transition National Legislative Assembly, national focal points of UNESCO Conventions, NGOs, foundations, practitioners of creative industries, artists, young film-makers and culture activists. The workshops were funded and organized by the UNESCO Office in Juba in close collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports in South Sudan.
The revision of South Sudan’s culture policy is focusing on including the guiding principles of the three UNESCO conventions ratified by the Republic of South Sudan in 2016 related to World Heritage, Intangible Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diversity.
“Finalizing the national culture policy will be a step forward in supporting systems of governance for culture, the creation, production, distribution, and access to a diversity of cultural goods and services,” said Mr. Chifunyise. “South Sudan’s culture policy can also help to promote the mobility of artists and cultural professionals in the cultural and creative industries,” he added.
Incorporating culture in the development frameworks of South Sudan will help the country to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and ensure human rights and fundamental freedom of expression, information and communication, promote gender equality to leverage women’s contributions towards creative economy.
“UNESCO is confident that the participatory process of culture policy review provides an opportunity for South Sudanese to have a say on what policies and measures they want to support the richness of the diverse cultural expressions of the people of South Sudan,” said Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, Head of the UNESCO Office in Juba.