On 15 May, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova joins the Vice-Premier of China, Mrs Liu Yandong, to open the International Congress on culture for sustainable development in Hangzhou.
Held from 15 to 17 May 2013 in Hangzhou, China, the Congress is entitled “Culture: Key to Sustainable Development” and is organized jointly by UNESCO with the national authorities of China and the municipality of Hangzhou. Less than two years before the Millennium development goal deadline, this Congress is a critical step to make the case for integrating culture at the heart of the post 2015 development agenda.
With some 450 participants, experts and global leaders, the objective of the Congress is to set clear and concrete recommendations to harness the power of culture and the creative industries for sustainable development.
“There can be no full ownership, no full participation of development strategies without the full integration of culture,” says the Director-General.
Hangzhou congress builds on UNESCO’s longstanding advocacy for culture as a driver and an enabler of sustainable development. In 1982, over 30 years ago, at the Mexico City Conference on Cultural Policy, UNESCO sought to show the role of culture as a vector of identity and cohesion, as well as an engine of creativity and sustainability. In 1998, in Stockholm, UNESCO adopted an action plan for concrete cultural policies. Since then, the importance of culture for social inclusion, job creation and sustainable growth has been acknowledged in several milestone United Nations resolutions and high-level declarations. The Hangzhou Congress comes at a critical juncture, less than one thousand days from the 2015 deadline and as the world debates the shape of new global post-2015 development agenda.
During the Congress, the Director-General will also moderate a High Level Panel Discussion on “Culture in the Post-2015 Sustainable Agenda”. The session will highlight the critical challenges faced by the global community of proponents of culture in advocating for the integration of culture into the post-2015 development agenda and in influencing its formulation process.
More information on UNESCO's initiatives on Culture and Development: