Namibian stakeholders hold consultations on the preparation of Namibia’s Periodic Report

An ad hoc Working Group, chaired by Mr Ervast Mtota and comprising representatives of the Namibian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture (MYNSSC) and the National Art Gallery of Namibia, met on 24 February and then on 1 March 2012 to discuss the preparation of Namibia’s first Periodic Report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention.

The first meeting was also attended by UNESCO representative Damir Dijakovic, who shared with the participants information about the countries which had already held consultations and were in the process of preparing their reports. Short video interviews with representatives of Brazil’s Ministry of Culture and South Africa’s civil society were screened with the aim of assisting the members of the Working Group to learn from their experiences.

The discussions during both consultations focused, in particular, on the following aspects:

  • involvement of civil society from the very beginning of the exercise;
  • involvement of local culture councils and local authorities;
  • inter-ministerial coordination;
  • use of ICTs to facilitate consultations, such as websites and social media (Facebook);
  • holding ‘reading groups’ to discuss the Convention and promote its understanding among civil society;
  • engaging the research community

At the end of each meeting, the participants determined the guiding principles and identified concrete steps to be taken to advance the process. These included:

  • civil society is key to the preparation of the quadrennial periodic report: in this connection, the Namibian chapter of Arterial Network should be part of the Working Group preparing the Periodic Report;
  • the main focus of the report will be sections 2 (Measures) and 3 (Awareness-raising and participation of the civil society): relevant Acts should be obtained from various Ministries, including the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Trade and Industry; the film industry will be contacted on relevant matters of the report; the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) Act should be obtained from the Centre;
  • UNAM department of statistics needs to be brought on board to fill in the Sources and Statistics Annex;
  • the National Art Gallery of Namibia has benefited from the resources of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity, and therefore their activity is relevant and important for the report;
  • many organizations in Namibia have written reports on the protection of the diversity of cultural expressions. They will be requested to forward them to the Chairperson of the Working Group.
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