On Friday, June 4, 2021, during the Eight Session of the Conference of Parties to the UNESCO 2005 Convention, which was held online from 1 – 4 June 2021, Jamaica was elected to a seat on the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Conference stressed the need for further action to support the resilience of the cultural and creative sector in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions aims to design and implement cultural policies and measures that support the creation, production, distribution of and access to cultural goods and services, as well as to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expression, both nationally and internationally. Based on human rights and fundamental freedoms, the 2005 Convention, which has so far been ratified by 150 countries and the European Union, provides a framework for informed, transparent and participatory systems of governance for culture.
Recognizing the unprecedented challenges facing the cultural and creative sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Parties to the Convention identified clear priorities to guide the future activities of the 2005 Convention’s Intergovernmental Committee in 2022-2023. Activities include broadening the range of stakeholders involved in the governance of the Convention, ensuring the effective implementation of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), and supporting the sound implementation of the Convention’s global capacity-building programme. Devoting particular attention to the implementation of preferential treatment measures for developing countries was also recognized as being of key importance.
Jamaica’s elevation comes during the UN designated Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development and demonstrates how important I consider the need to protect and develop the Cultural and Creative sectors in Jamaica.
Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport of Jamaica and Chairperson of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, said, “For members of the Entertainment, Cultural and Creative Industries in Jamaica, the 2005 Convention encourages the free and unimpeded movement of Artistess, through bilateral agreements including the establishment of no-visa regimes”.
Jamaica has benefitted from several grants through the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), a multi-donor fund established under the 2005 Convention.
Since 2010, the IFCD has invested more than US$8,761,767 in 120 projects from 60 developing countries, and Jamaica has received funding for the following 2 projects:
The new members of the Intergovernmental Committee are as follows:
Group I: France and Norway
Group II: Georgia and Serbia
Group III: Cuba and Jamaica
Group IV: Bangladesh and Vietnam
Group V(a): Burundi and Madagascar
Group V(b): United Arab Emirates and Palestine
Jamaica’s tenure on the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is for the period 2022-2026.
The 9th session of the Conference of Parties will take place in June 2023.