On 5 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/Res/68/223 on Culture and Sustainable Development, which represents an important breakthrough for the development agenda as it acknowledges in detail the direct linkages between culture and the three pillars of sustainable development.
It also explicitly states that culture is both an enabler and driver of sustainable development and emphasizes its role for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Following a first set of consultations on post-2015 in 2012-2013, the UN Development Group (UNDG) has recently decided to continue an inclusive dialogue with a second round of consultations at the national level with Ecuador, Mali, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
The national and global consultations, which will be co-led by UNESCO, UNFPA and UNDP, should examine the contribution of culture to poverty reduction, to education, to gender equality and women’s empowerment, to sustainable cities and urbanization, to the environment and climate change and to inclusion and reconciliation.
The objective of the consultations is to allow a diversity of stakeholders to articulate their vision of culture, and its integration into the post-2015 development agenda, including its role as a critical element of the human rights based approach, and to make recommendations in that regard.
The recommendations resulting from the global and national consultations will feed into the consolidated report by UNDG on the consultations on all 6 themes, including “culture and development”, which will in turn inform the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals as well as the report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be issued in the fall of 2014.