Strategy

Extracts from Approved Programme and Budget 2014-2017 37 C/5
Major Programme IV

04001 - Action in the first quadrennium (37 C/5) of the Medium Term Strategy 2014-2021 (37 C/4) will promote the pivotal role of culture, heritage and creativity as a means of achieving sustainable development and peace. It will do so by implementing strategic objectives 7 "Protecting, promoting and transmitting heritage" and 8 "Fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions", through 2 Main Lines of Action and 7 expected results, in order to demonstrate the power of culture as a driver and enabler of peace and sustainable development through the Organization's flagship programmes and standard-setting instruments.

04002 - Through its core functions as standard-setter, capacity-builder and catalyst for international cooperation, UNESCO will sustain and strengthen its leadership in Culture by pursuing its action at international, regional and country level and by further mainstreaming of the culture dimension in national and international development policies and strategies. This will be done in the context of the UN Reform and Delivering as One, the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and the contribution to the Post-2015 UN Development agenda.

04003 - Particular attention will be paid to accompanying Member States in the effective implementation and monitoring of the UNESCO normative instruments, their national implementation and support to capacity-building, strengthening policy, legal, and institutional environments, enhancing knowledge management and promoting best practices, including through a more systematic use of new technologies.

04004 - Under the first MLA, entitled ‘Protecting, conserving, promoting and transmitting culture, heritage and history for dialogue and development’, action to protect, conserve, and promote heritage will remain a key priority in order to underscore the central role of heritage in promoting sustainable development, reconciliation and dialogue within and among countries. Specific actions to raise the awareness of youth about heritage values will also be pursued. Relationships with other relevant Conventions, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Ramsar Convention, as well as Intergovernmental Programmes such as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) will be strengthened in order to maximize the wise and sustainable management of these irreplaceable assets. Flagship initiatives on cultural interactions and intercultural dialogue such as the Slave Route project and the pedagogical use of UNESCO’s General and Regional Histories, in particular the General History of Africa, will also be pursued. The social and educational roles of museums as vectors for intercultural dialogue will be explored and their links with all the cultural conventions developed, and in particular with the 1970 Convention to better combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

04005 - The second Main Line of Action, ‘Supporting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions, the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, and the development of cultural and creative industries’, will concentrate on strengthening the legal, policy and institutional environments that promote living heritage and creativity and support the diversity of cultural expressions. This is to be achieved through the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and support for the emergence of dynamic cultural and creative industries, particularly mechanisms that foster local production of cultural goods and services, the development of local markets and access to platforms for their distribution/exchange worldwide. Particular attention will be given to capacity building in priority areas, including for youth.

04006 - Under both MLAs, a more systematic use of new technologies will also help improve knowledge management and the sharing of best practices in the field of culture.

04007 - For all expected results under the two MLAs, Headquarters will provide the Secretariat of the different normative instruments and lead policy development and monitoring, working in close complementarity with all Field Offices to ensure effective implementation of these instruments at country level and integration of culture dimensions into UNDAFs and the relevant UN country programmes.

04008 - Although activities under each of the MLAs have been clearly associated to the achievement of one of the two strategic objectives of the Medium-Term Strategy, in certain cases they may also contribute to the achievement of both. The role of World Heritage in promoting creativity or of intangible cultural heritage in preventing and recovering from disasters are cases in point.

04009 - As part of its on-going efforts to improve service delivery in and to Member States and to promote effective and integrated implementation of its cultural conventions, UNESCO will make proposals for greater convergence of the processes, such as financial and technical assistance, capacity building, periodic reporting and knowledge management, associated to the conventions. Joint training activities at the national and regional level will also be pursued, where appropriate.

Strategic Objective 7: Protecting, promoting and transmitting heritage

Main Line of Action 1: Protecting, conserving, promoting and transmitting culture, heritage and history for dialogue and development

04010 - In times of rapid societal and environmental change, heritage provides opportunities, through its role in human development, as a repository of knowledge, as a driver of economic growth, and as a symbolic force for stability and meaning, to address the challenges of an increasingly complex world.

04011 - UNESCO will therefore continue to promote heritage as a vector of dialogue, cooperation and mutual understanding, especially in crisis situations, as a specific component of broader initiatives to promote innovative and creative approaches to culture as a bridge to sustainable development. The participation of communities, practitioners, cultural actors, NGOs, non-profit organizations, experts, and centres of expertise in the implementation of the Conventions will be promoted, with a special focus on youth and women within the special attention given to Africa, SIDS and LDCs.

04012 - Capacity building programmes to support the effective implementation of the 1954, 1970, 1972 and 2001 Conventions and respective Protocols at the national level will be further developed. These will concentrate on the development of practical tools and training materials dedicated to those instruments as well as strengthening the capacities of cultural and natural heritage practitioners. Sustained support will be provided to Member States for building appropriate legal and institutional frameworks in which cultural and other relevant sector policies fully integrate cultural heritage and are in turn better integrated into national development policies. UNESCO’s field network and strategic partners will be mobilized to ensure the effectiveness of this global strategy.

04013 - The growing incidence of conflicts and natural disasters facing cultural and natural heritage demonstrates the urgent need to advocate and support the development and implementation of disaster risk prevention and management strategies, including capacity building, which also take into account the contributions of indigenous knowledge. Efforts will be made to target assistance specifically to post-conflict and post-natural disaster countries, also taking cultural factors into account in reconciliation and reconstruction processes under initiatives launched by the United Nations as appropriate. Particular emphasis will be placed on protecting heritage for conservation and sustainable development, mitigating risks and managing it in times of conflicts and disasters.

04014 - Partnerships will be developed with key stakeholders of the Conventions and their Protocols, including but not limited to the United Nations Department of Peace-Keeping Operations, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross, INTERPOL, the World Customs Organizations, UNIDROIT, ICOM, ICOMOS, IUCN, ICCROM, ICA, IFLA, the International Committee of the Blue Shield, actors of the international art market, the military and law-enforcement agencies, and cultural heritage professionals.

04015 - In strengthening the international mechanisms of the 1954, 1970, 1972, and 2001 Conventions, and their roles as platforms for international cooperation, particular attention will be paid to facilitating and supporting the decision-making processes of the respective governing bodies, to increasing ratifications and to the effective management of their respective funds and fundraising strategies, as well as to promoting the List of Cultural Property under Enhanced Protection with a view to obtaining new inscriptions therein.

04016 - Particular consideration will be given to implementing the World Heritage Strategic Action Plan 2012-2022, while the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property will place special attention on the newly created mechanisms for its monitoring. UNESCO Member States will also be encouraged to ratify the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.

04017 - Global awareness of the importance of cultural heritage and its protection for sustainable development, social cohesion, dialogue and peace will be enhanced through the development of an integrated and comprehensive information and knowledge-management system and through strategic cooperation with external partners, to enhance their involvement in and contribution to long term heritage conservation. Action to harness the full potential of category 2 centres and other specialized networks and promote regional and thematic cooperation and joint initiatives will contribute to realizing decentralized regional and sub-regional platforms for delivering activities more effectively and efficiently.

04018 - Youth education and volunteer activities will remain priorities, as they provide children and youth with basic knowledge on heritage conservation and values, develop mutual understanding and networks among students and teachers of participating countries and raise awareness amongst local communities about their heritage. New partnerships will be developed in this regard. In a new departure, efforts to develop complementary tools for all the heritage related conventions will be pursued through a unified Heritage in Young Hands programme.

04019 - International cooperation will be further promoted through the creation of a high-level forum on museums. This will act as laboratory of ideas and generate innovative approaches and policy advice for the strengthening of museums’ roles as vectors for intercultural dialogue and sustainable development, especially in Africa and LDCs. The educational and social roles of museums for social cohesion and conflict prevention will be emphasized through the development of a new international standard setting instrument in the form of a Recommendation, and the links between museums and the existing cultural Conventions will be further developed as part of broader approaches to culture as a bridge to development. The role played by museums to combat the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property will also be enhanced. Existing partnerships with national, regional and international organizations and professional institutions will be strengthened, and new institutional partnerships that aim to foster North-South, North-South-South and South-South cooperation between museums will be supported.

04020 - Action in favour of mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace will be strengthened by offering a historical perspective on cultural interactions and mutual influences between peoples with an emphasis on shared values. While helping build the intercultural skills necessary for the good management of cultural pluralism, focus will be placed on cross readings and educational use of UNESCO’s General and Regional Histories.

04021 - In line with the objectives of the International Decade of People of African Descent, UNESCO will continue its efforts to fight against prejudice and discrimination handed down from history and promote reconciliation and living together through better knowledge of the history of Africa, the slave trade, slavery and its consequences in modern societies and the contribution of Africans and the African Diaspora to human progress, as well as cross-readings of the General and Regional Histories. Emphasis will be placed on reaching youth as agents of change through the development of new partnerships and innovative approaches offered by ICTs and broadcasting.

Strategic Objective 8: Fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions

Main Line of Action 2: Supporting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions, the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, and the development of cultural and creative industries

04022 - In times of crisis, new social and economic models have to be developed in which creativity, creative industries and intangible cultural heritage play an important role as source of innovation. UNESCO will therefore continue to promote cultural creativity and innovation as a vector of dialogue, cooperation and mutual understanding, and as a specific component of broader initiatives to promote innovative approaches to sustainable development. Communities and practitioners will be at the centre of all efforts, in particular the youth, who should be given the opportunity to develop their creative potential, with special attention given to Africa, SIDS and LDCs. Cooperation with cultural actors, NGOs, non-profit organizations, experts, and centres of expertise will be pursued to this end.

04023 - Action under this MLA will concentrate on strengthening the legal, policy, institutional and human environments that safeguard the intangible cultural heritage and promote creativity and the emergence of dynamic cultural and creative industries, on supporting the effective implementation and monitoring of the 2003 and 2005 Conventions and their mechanisms of international cooperation and on reinforcing cooperation at the national, regional and international levels through knowledge sharing and operational partnerships.

04024 - The 2003 Convention’s potential as a powerful tool to improve the social and cultural well-being of communities and to mobilize innovative and culturally appropriate responses to the various challenges of sustainable development – climate change and natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, safe water, conflicts, unequal access to food, education and health, migration, urbanization, social marginalization and economic inequities – will be fully explored. Traditional systems of conflict avoidance can help prevent disputes and facilitate peace-building, while also playing crucial roles in recovery and reconciliation. Emphasis will be given to empowering marginalized and vulnerable communities and individuals to participate fully in cultural life through the continued creativity that is a defining characteristic of intangible cultural heritage, and to make cultural choices according to their own wishes and aspirations. Customary practices of environmental protection and resource management will be reinforced to strengthen disaster risk management and support adaptation to climate change.

04025 - The 2005 Convention will support mechanisms that foster creativity and support the emergence of dynamic cultural and creative industries as a tool for inclusive economic and social development, including those that that foster local production of cultural goods and services, the development of local markets and access to platforms for their distribution/exchange worldwide. Priority will also be given to reinvigorating the international debate to improve socio-economic conditions for artists, promote individual mobility and preferential treatment for creative works from the global South. In addition, UNESCO will continue its efforts to support artists through fellowships and grants for young artists.

04026 - Particular attention will be placed on the further development of capacity building programmes to support the effective implementation of the 2003 and 2005 Conventions at the national level. This is to be achieved through demand-driven technical assistance and engagement of local and regional expertise, including the training of experts; and the production and dissemination of training materials and tools, including for policy making, data collection and partnership development.

04027 - In strengthening the international mechanisms of the 2003 and 2005 Conventions, efforts to increase ratifications will continue to be pursued and the decision-making process of its governing bodies will be facilitated and supported. Their roles as forums for international cooperation will be strengthened, in particular through the effective management of their respective Funds and proactive fund raising strategies. 

04028 - Enhanced international cooperation to support indicator development/benchmarking, notably through the UNESCO Culture for Development Indicator Suite, and the collection of information, data and best practices to be disseminated through the knowledge management tools system will be essential for their effective monitoring.

04029 - Partnerships with other UN, international and regional organizations as well as with civil society networks will be established for the implementation of both Conventions at the country level and synergies will be pursued.

04030 - Action to enhance global awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage and creativity for sustainable development, social inclusion and cohesion, dialogue and peace, will be further developed, notably through knowledge management and strategic cooperation with external partners. In this regard, translation and its role in promoting mutual understanding will be enhanced and cooperation with African and Arab States will be strengthened.

04031 - International cooperation will be furthermore enhanced under the revitalized International Fund for the Promotion of Culture which will be developed as a catalyst of culture for sustainable development by supporting arts and creativity projects in developing countries, in synergy with the other UNESCO Funds in the field of culture. Particular attention will be paid to developing adequate fund-raising strategies to sustain this Fund. Capacities to nurture cultural expressions and creativity for dialogue and social cohesion through the arts will be strengthened for all generations in particular for children and youth. To this end, arts education will be further promoted and new partnerships will be sought at all levels of the education systems, formal and informal. Such capacity development actions will be complemented by world class initiatives to promote the visual and performing arts, undertaken in partnership with leading artists, architects and institutions from all regions.

04032 - The Creative Cities Network will be further developed to better capitalize on cities and local governments as major partners for promoting sustainable development through international cooperation between cities of developed and developing countries. In this regard, the Network will continue to explore the challenges of rapid global urbanization and urban renewal and further promote cities as hubs of creativity and innovation. Emphasis will be given to the growth of the network, in numbers of cities and quality of exchanges by offering leverage for stronger interaction between stakeholders: private and public sectors, decision makers and civil society, in particular in developing countries and Africa. Programmes will be developed jointly with the cities for poverty alleviation and improved social balance between communities.

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