Integrating Culture and Cultural Heritage in Development

© UNESCO / Tran Minh Thong / Po Nagar, Nha Trang

UNESCO has long advocated for a more central role of culture in sustainable development. In its Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, an international standard-setting instrument developed in 2001, cultural diversity is defined as "one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence"

In recent years, the link between culture and development has been increasingly recognized on the global stage. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the integration of culture into global and national development policies at the end of 2010. In July 2011, UNESCO and the World Bank formalized ongoing cooperation and a framework for their activities in this area.

Recognizing the importance of culture to its country's sustainable development, the Vietnamese Government recently approved the National Strategy for Cultural development 2010 – 2020 which defines priorities to be met and requires coordinated efforts from government ministries.

In Viet Nam, UNESCO ensures application of culturally appropriate programming in all of its development interventions and policies. As a participating agency in the Delivering as One Initiative in Viet Nam, UNESCO advocated successfully for the inclusion of culturally appropriate programming as a cross-cutting issue for all UN activities in the country.


Click here to read more about the UNESCO-Quang Nam partnership.

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