UNESCO advocated for a stronger role for culture in sustainable development at UCLG's and the Brazilian Ministry of Culture's seminar on Culture and Sustainability at Rio+20

19 June 2012

Mr. Hans d’Orville, the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, took part in the side event co-organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) on Culture and Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Culture’s Citizenship Shed that is running alongside the Rio+20 conference.

The meeting, which was chaired by the (interim) Brazilian Minister for Culture, Vitor Ortiz, brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including decision-makers, representatives of Major Groups and foundations. The event aimed at creating a dialogue around culture and sustainability on the basis that truly sustainable development must include culture as a key dimension. As stated by Mr d’Orville “UNESCO is convinced that culture has the potential to transform existing development approaches, by helping to make development much more relevant to the needs of people.” While during the opening panel, Kadir Topbas, President of UCLG and Major of Istanbul, highlighted the importance of cities as hubs of culture and heritage “cities are multicultural places; they do not assimilate cultures.” He added that “cities as places of different layers of history are places of unity in diversity.”

Mr. d'Orville finished his address by emphasizing the importance of ensuring culture is recognized at Rio+20 “Today, more than ever, in the face of growing and intricate global challenges, we need to draw on the power of culture to fortify sustainable development.”

More information on UCLG’s advocacy for culture and development

More information on Brazil’s Ministry of Culture’s work on Culture and Sustainable Development (in Portuguese)

Read Mr d'Orville's speech

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