18.10.2016 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Culture for an Inclusive Sustainable Planet

©UNESCO Jakarta/Wieske Octaviani Sapardan

The second World Culture Forum was held in Bali from 10 - 14 October 2016 as part of the continuous efforts to promote culture as the driver and enabler of sustainable development.

Under the central theme of “Culture for an Inclusive Sustainable Planet,” the Forum – organised by the Government of Indonesia under the patronage of UNESCO – aimed to encourage the mainstreaming of culture, by placing it at the upstream of development. In his report to the Forum, the Director-General of Culture of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Mr Hilmar Farid emphasised that culture should become the cornerstone and the foundation of development; it should become the approach in development planning and evaluation measures to accelerate the development.  

The Forum gathered more than 1300 participants from 63 nations around the globe, including 8 ministers and ministerial level officials responsible for culture, cultural experts and practitioners, development agents, academics, government representatives, international and national NGO and CSO representatives, and youth. There were six symposia sub-themes with 19 speakers, 6 discussants and 6 moderators. This year’s World Culture Forum also featured events, such as a visit to learn about Subak – the Balinese traditional irrigation system – in Jatiluwih rice terraces (a cluster site within the World Heritage property of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as the Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy), a Cultural Carnival and Dance Performance at the Puputan Badung Field, and an International Youth Forum, which gathered 153 young people from 35 countries.

The Forum was officially inaugurated by H.E. Mrs. Megawati Sukarnoputri, the former president of the Republic of Indonesia on behalf of the President H.E. Mr Joko Widodo, on 13 October 2016, followed by video messages by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova. In her message, Ms Bokova mentioned, “This Forum plays a critical role in the global reflection to widen development paths and craft new strategies for sustainability. The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development recognized for the first time the essential role of culture for sustainable development, notably is SDG 11 to advance more inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities…Culture is who we are. It is our ultimate renewable energy and no development can be sustainable without it. Cultural activities have both economic and a cultural power. They provide jobs and revenues and at the same time they convey identities and values, fostering social inclusion and belonging. This combination is the corner stone of sustainability. The World Culture Forum is a key moment to take this agenda forward to realize the full potential of culture.” 

The second World Culture Forum resulted in ten statements of the Bali Declaration, one of which supports the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and works towards a more visible and effective integration and mainstreaming of culture into economic, social and environmental development policies and strategies at all levels. The Forum also produced a Youth Action Plan to promote active engagement of the young people in addressing issues – such as education, representation, political reform, and cultural and environmental knowledge – in order to bring forward positive social transformation in the effort to achieve equity and sustainability for all members of the world.

Download the video message - the Director-General of UNESCO here

For a complete text of the Bali Declaration, please download the following document here

The Youth Action Plan is available here

These documents are the first draft out of the World Culture Forum, which will later be refined to improve the language before they are officially submitted to UNESCO. 

<- Back to: All news