Press release

Re|Shaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions / Statistics for Culture Development

Ramallah, 9-10 December 2019 - In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture (MoC), UNESCO National Office for Palestine organized two multi-stakeholder consultation meetings, which brought together over 60 culture practitioners, artists and decision makers, representing the public and private sectors that focus on culture, human rights and gender equality. The audience gathered to discuss the Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) on the effective implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and to elaborate on the Mapping of the Cultural Sector and the Culture for Development Indicators in Palestine. The consultations are part of UNESCO’s project Re|Shaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, supported by the Government of Sweden and the Mapping of the Cultural Sector and the Culture Statistics for Sustainable Development in Palestine.

During his opening remarks at the official launching event in Ramallah, the Minister of Culture, H.E. Dr. Atef Abu Seif endorsed both projects stressing the importance of the consultation process in preparing the second QPR of Palestine. He further pointed out that the Council of Ministers has recently issued a decree to form a National Team that will be implementing both projects. Commenting on the Mapping of the Cultural Sector in Palestine project, Dr. Abu Seif stressed that in Palestine we lack the necessary comprehensive data that determines our priorities and needs. The statistical data shall help us in formulating the needed cultural policies in order to create a supportive environment for the promotion of cultural production in the various cultural fields in Palestine.

Ms. Reem Khalil, the Country Director of the Drosos Foundation in Palestine, pointed out in her opening remarks that Drosos’ interest in the project stems from its vision to collaborate with different local, public and international agencies for the benefit of the culture sector. She further stressed that the Drosos Foundation is honored to be part of the national team that will collect and exchange information and data on policies related to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in Palestine. 

Mr. Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Officer-in-Charge, Head of Office and Head of Culture Unit of UNESCO National Office for Palestine, expressed UNESCO’s pride in leading these two projects in close cooperation with its partners, emphasizing that supporting knowledge production, sharing and raising the public awareness about Palestinian culture, in all its forms and assets, is indeed at the core of UNECO's global mandate and goals in Palestine. He further expressed his gratitude to all partners for their support in the process, stressing that the collection and analysis of data, drafting the reports and designing the policies, is the contribution expected from all of us. Hence, the meeting today is to exchange our expertise and insights and to eventually dedicate our efforts towards the success of these important pioneering projects.

The consultation meetings included interventions by professionals on cultural policies and the cultural and creative industries in Palestine. Mr. Mohamad Dragmeh from MoC presented the Palestine Cultural National Strategy while Mr. Khalid Mansour presented the challenges MoC faced in writing the first QPR of Palestine submitted in 2016. Finally, Mr. Eyad Judeh presented the challenges of the cinema industry in Palestine based on the study commissioned by FilmLab Palestine and supported by UNESCO, entitled "the Value Chain of the Cinema Industry in Palestine”. Representing the Palestine Performing Arts Network and Civil Society, Ms. Iman Hammouri pointed out the immense challenges facing the Palestinian cultural sectors and wished for more consultation and coordination between the public sector and the independent cultural scene.

It is worth mentioning that the consultation meetings will be followed by a third meeting in Gaza and a training for the National Team during the third week of December 2019. Led by Fatin Farhat, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility, the training workshop will sensitize the National Team to the 2005 Convention’s Monitoring Framework and to the new periodic report form.

For more information on this project, please contact: Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Officer-in-Charge and Head of the UNESCO Ramallah Office, at org or Ms. Salaam Bannoura

For more information on UNESCO’s activities in Palestine, please visit us on Facebook  : UNESCO National Office Ramallah Office