In accordance with UNESCO's global mandate and priorities of member states in the Pacific, UNESCO Culture Programme in the Pacific has a focus on the following areas of action:
- Strengthening the management of tangible and natural heritage including World Heritage sites
- Enhancing the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage
- Protecting the underwater cultural heritage
- Enhancing arts, creativity and cultural industry
- Supporting the development of cultural spaces, centers and museums
- Supporting the development of cultural policies, strategies, action plans and cultural statistics at national and regional level.
At the United Nations Meeting on the 10-Year Review of the Barbados Plan of Action for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Mauritius, January 2005), UNESCO organized a panel on ‘The Role of Culture in the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States’. The panel strongly advocated on a greater role of Culture in the sustainable development process of SIDS.
The Outcome Document of the Rio +20 Meeting, which was adopted in Brasilia on 22 June 2012, in particular its paragraphs 41 and 58 (j), acknowledges once more the contribution of the natural and cultural diversity of the world to sustainable development, and recognizes the identity, cultural practices and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities as an important factor in the eradication of poverty. UNESCO’s three Culture Conventions and its specialized programmes, are providing an appropriate platform and tools for this endeavour.
The Pacific Culture Programme has been prepared in close consultation with national authorities with the participation of traditional leaders in order to reinforce synergies between community-based practices, customary laws and government-supported programmes and policy for culture and development. It has been implemented in partnership with UN agencies, regional intergovernmental agencies, universities, NGOs and communities.