National Policy for Culture”
During the development of the National Policy for Culture (NPC), a special attention has been paid to UNESCO 2005 Convention and its principles of inclusiveness of cultural diversity and development of cultural industries during the development processes.
The main objectives of the NPC, which was approved by the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2014, are to promote cultural values and to strengthen the role of the cultural sectors in the country’s development objectives and the contribution of creative industries to its economy. This NPC is considered as a national vision along with strategic priorities, which serve as guidelines for short, medium, and long term development of measures and actions that lead to promote the role of culture within the framework of overall government policy. It was developed with emphasis on culture in the spirit of the 2005 Convention aiming to provide stronger legal bases and to open wider cultural horizon for enabling environment for development of higher quality cultural good and services in Cambodia by dialoguing with relevant partners to ensure a diversity of cultural services and their accessibility.
Given the strategic importance of the Cultural Policy for Cambodia in the achievement of its development goals and the national objectives, other relevant ministries were invited for their inputs and active participations in the process, namely the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery.
The NPC was developed in accordance with the UNESCO framework particularly the 2005 Convention to address the links between culture and development by integrating aspects such as education, environment, science, media and health, supporting the improvement of quality of life by involving an inclusive approach, the promotion of public private and public civil partnerships. This important document has served as key guidelines for development of measures and mechanism to promote arts and culture nationally and internationally while the periodic reporting is an opportunity for re-evaluating and re-thinking policy and measures – taking into consideration their feasibility and acceptability for the society.
It also opens for wider dialogues between government’s institutions and civil societies through Arts Forum. The recent Arts Forum organization was directly a result from the implementation of the 2014 Cambodian National Policy for Culture as agreed during the Road Map discussions by all cultural partners involved. The first Arts Forum was taken place in September dedicated to “Creative Industries in Cambodia”, meaning those industries that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent with a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property in different disciplines (visual arts, film, design and crafts, music, dance, theatre, literature, publishing, television and broadcasting services:..). These are linked to a growing creative economy, highly transformative and creating new social and cultural links.
The document and its implementation enable for more of Cambodia’s creative sectors such as cinema, music, fashion, design, etc. to increase, and also encourage the Government’s agencies and full participations of artists, art organizations and civil society to start dialoguing. This situation represents an opportunity to capitalize on the potential of the culture sector by sustaining it with the appropriate means, and to link culture to Cambodia’s development strategies. It is also an opportunity to provide a framework for development of action plans for the cultural sector, to recognise culture as a key sector for Cambodia due to its strategic importance for: economic and social development, strength the national identity of Cambodia in its diversity, maintain traditional knowledge and forms of work as forms of sustainable development as part of recognition of creative industries, and identification of means and objectives. It also contributes to the Government’s Rectangular Strategy and the national objectives by:
- increasing the role of culture in public activities moving up culture in the Government’s agenda,
- facilitating a global view of the cultural sector in Cambodia that will allow to develop unified strategies and action plans for the government at a central and provincial level,
- engaging with other Ministries, providing a unified vision of culture for the nation by setting the bases for discussion and agreement with other Ministries about the key issues affecting the economic and social development of the country,
- involving all in an inclusive and welcoming way, taking into special consideration the needs and diversity of indigenous peoples and the provision of opportunities for the younger generations,
- providing planning for sustainable setting of priorities, and
- recognising stakeholders, engaging agents in public-private partnerships, and creating alliances among the main actors.
MCFA also has finaincial challenges. However it has tried to allocate as much as its can through the involved departments of Ministries. The Governement is full aware of the need for financing through open public call, which was the main one, expressed by private actors and civil society of the Cambodian cultural Creative Sector in order to facilitate their initiatives: finance for creative efforts, for travels as well as insurance to artists. The MCFA in collaboration with Ministry of Finance has developped a mechanism to support the artists and art organization through assistance of free tax for imports and exports of art equipment.