Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO and H.E. Annika Markovic, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Sweden to UNESCO, signed at UNESCO Headquarters on 28 November 2014 a Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA) for 2014-2017 that includes a 2.5 million USD project to implement the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Entitled “Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions”, the project’s overall goal is to to enhance human and institutional capabilities in developing countries to improve their systems of governance for culture, both through training activities on policy monitoring and data collection, and the production of biennial global monitoring reports on the implementation of the 2005 Convention.
National governments that ratified the 2005 Convention have statutory obligations to systematically collect information and data, statistics and best practices on policy measures in their country that promote the diversity of cultural expressions and also to increase transparency by sharing and exchanging this information, through quadrennial periodic reports.
Against this background, activities implemented will reach out to governmental and non-governmental stakeholders that have a responsibility in policy-making processes and in policy implementation, so they can work together and better highlight effective policies and strategies that promote fundamental principles lying at the heart of the 2005 Convention, such as freedom of expression, gender equality, openness and balance to other cultures and expressions of the world. Activities proposed will include various types of interventions such as: multi-stakeholder consultations and needs assessments; national training workshops on data collection, monitoring and indicator-building; mentoring and coaching of national teams in the preparation of quadrennial periodic reports and the establishment of public dialogue platform with civil society to discuss the periodic reports.
In its second component, the project will support the production of two biennial global reports (2015, 2017) as a tool to monitor the implementation of the Convention and facilitate information sharing and knowledge production at the global level. The Reports will be informed both by periodic reports submitted by Parties to the Convention and other independent sources, be it academic research or civil society contributions. As part of a wider exercise to promote transparency and informed/participatory policy making, the reports will serve as a global benchmarking and monitoring tool for the international community, by analyzing current global trends, identifying main challenges faced by Parties and providing good practices in implementing the Convention at the local, national, regional as well as international levels.
Finally, the project will help to develop a knowledge sharing management system to collect and disseminate information, data and best practices essential for monitoring the diversity of cultural expressions.
The signing of this agreement marks an important moment in UNESCO-Sida cultural cooperation, and signals a strong commitment from Sweden towards the objectives of the 2005 Convention. Sweden, which ratified the 2005 Convention as early as 2006, played a leading role during the elaboration of the World Report “Our Creative Diversity” (1996), culminating in the 1998 Stockholm Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development (1998), both inspiring the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001) and eventually the 2005 Convention.