On 23 September 2018, Mr Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO met Mr Li Yong Jun, Chairman of Yong Xin Hua Yun Cultural Industry Investment Group Co., Ltd, in Beijing, to renew the partnership between the two organizations and sign a agreement for an additional contribution of US$4 million to the UNESCO/Yong Xin Hua Yun Fund over a five-year period. Launched in 2015, the Fund aims support the safeguarding of living heritage and promotion of the creative economy for sustainable cities.
As a follow-up to the official visit of the UNESCO Director-General in July last, the Assistant Director-General’s first mission to the People’s Republic of China has allowed to reinforce UNESCO’s partnerships in China in the field of culture. The collaboration between UNESCO and Yong Xin Hua Yun.will be key to contribute to UNESCO’s programme. UNESCO and Yong Xin Hua Yun committed to collaborate on joint activities to promote the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage towards the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, strengthen national capacities for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, and reinforce international cooperation on the creative economy.
Promoting cultural diversity and the creative industries is essential to UNESCO’s mission. Contributing 3% of the world’s GDP and generating 29.5 million jobs worldwide, the creative economy is a key engine of sustainable development and a fundamental promoter of the competitiveness of cities. In Beijing for instance, the cultural and creative industries have contributed 13% of the city’s total industrial revenue.
As Mr Ottone R. declared, “We must use this momentum to ensure that living heritage and the creative economy, as key enablers of sustainable development, remain safeguarded and fostered”.
As cities increasingly drive national growth, the creative economy will play an increasingly important role in sustaining development and alleviating poverty in urban settings. The renewed partnership agreement between UNESCO and Yong Xin Hua Yun therefore comes at a timely moment, setting up an ambitious project that will help advance the role of creativity for the enhanced sustainability of cities in the years to come.