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Culturelink review, no.32/November 2000 - contents - imprint - archive

Towards an International Network of Observatories on Cultural Policies

Convened by UNESCO
with the Support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada and the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO

Canadian Pavilion at the Expo 2000 World Exposition
Hanover, Germany, 19-20 September, 2000

Cultural Policies for Development Unit

Rationale for the workshop

The Cultural Policies for Development Unit convened this two-day workshop in order to explore ways and means of building international links among and support for the activities of entities engaged in research, analysis, documentation and information provision relevant to cultural policy making purposes. The starting point for the project was a recommendation in the Action Plan adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development (Stockholm, 1998) which invited the Director-General of UNESCO to

    'encourage the establishment of networks for research and information on cultural policies for development, including study of the establishment of an observatory of cultural policies.'

The recommendation was one of several which gave UNESCO a mandate to renew the work on cultural policy it had carried out so successfully in the 1970s and early 1980s. UNESCO's General Conference confirmed this mandate in November of 1999, by approving the programme and budget for the years 2000-2001 proposed by the Secretariat.

One of the pillars of the new activities is to reactivate the watch or clearing house function of the Organization with regard to cultural policies. The goal is to promote the collection and dissemination of policy-relevant knowledge and information and forge links between the research and policy-making communities. The aim is to make available international comparative information on the cultural policies and facilities deployed by different levels of government as well as by the non-governmental, private and 'third' sectors and to share best practice and innovative thinking in cultural policy-making and implementation. There is a need for shared work in order to develop the instruments and indicators necessary for analyzing and monitoring not only the evolution of complex cultural processes but also the relevance of cultural policies designed to address them.

There is also a need for comparative data collection and analysis on cultural change in the context of current globalizing processes in the socio-economic and technological arenas. The sharing of experiences could also facilitate the creation and strengthening of observatories and similar institutions in less privileged regions and countries.

Cooperation and exchange of information between and among such institutions would appear to be essential to building a worldwide cultural information infrastructure. As pointed out by J. Mark Schuster, 'in any policy arena the crafting of appropriate and effective policy depends on the quality of the information infrastructure that is available to the participants in that arena. Such an information infrastructure does not develop on its own accord. Rather it is designed, developed, and managed as a critical element in policy development. This should be no less true in cultural policy than in other policy arenas.' (In a research proposal formulated in July 2000 for the Culture Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.)

The feasibility of implementing the recommendation that UNESCO itself establish an observatory of cultural policies, i.e. a new entity or institute, was examined in 1998-99 by Eduard Delgado, the founder and director of INTERARTS in Barcelona, which was set up as an 'observatory of urban and regional cultural policies' in 1995. The author was well placed to trace the evolution of the notion of 'observatory' from its astronomical/meteorological roots (as a tool of scientific observation of astronomical/meteorological phenomena which are complex movements that can be apprehended only by disciplined and exact observation of trends, changes, occurrences, etc.) to its current metaphorical usage as a label for any entity devoted to empirical recording and analysis of observable phenomena in a variety of fields. Delgado's study pointed out that, as far as culture is concerned, a number of regional and national bodies bearing this title exist already or are in gestation, while many research institutes, think tanks and networks play a comparable role. Indeed, as another observer has noted, there is today a surprising proliferation of entities calling themselves observatory which are very different from one another. It appeared difficult therefore for one single entity to monitor all this disparate activity at the global level, reconciling comprehensiveness and geo-cultural diversity.

The conclusion that the UNESCO Secretariat drew from this preliminary analysis was that creating a new entity was neither necessary nor feasible. Recognizing, however, that UNESCO is expected to perform observatory type functions at the international level, the Unit opted for an alternative course of action, viz. to foster an international network of observatories and other bodies carrying out like functions.

The main purpose of the Hanover workshop, therefore, was to foster the kind of person-to-person, institution-to-institution and issues-to-issues interaction that would give flesh and blood to such a network and provide the energies and motivation it would require to get off the ground. The idea was to build bridges between and among existing entities with common purposes despite considerable diversity and to enable different actors on the international landscape to discover each other and their respective activities.

A second aim was to consider whether the establishment of a network, whether formal or informal, was desirable and, if so, to begin to define possible rules of the game and priorities for its launch and operation.

A third goal was to identify some of the ways in which UNESCO might contribute to the process.

General summary of the discussions

The plenary and working group discussions revealed more complementarities than differences and raised a number of questions not contained in the agenda. The specificity of the proposed network, which all agreed was necessary, would lie in its being the only inter-regional and interdisciplinary network devoted to research on cultural policies. It should not deal with cultural issues in isolation, but should aim at shedding light on their interaction with development issues and policies in other sectors, and thereby promote holistic frameworks for cultural policy making. Motivations for taking part in any network would involve one or more of the following: staying in touch, surviving, collaborating, forging comparability, carrying out joint projects and building links across disciplines. Participation in the network should be as open and inclusive as possible, on the basis of criteria such as permanence, duration, clear methodology, independence, collaborative character and regional scope. Hence, it should be open to any entity that performed one or more of the following tasks: gathering statistics (acting as an authoritative source of data); doing analysis (interpreting data into trends, comparisons and projections); doing research (providing access to the best and most up-to-date thinking) and providing documentation (case studies, sample policies, models...). The principle of diversity and openness should also apply to the clients and beneficiaries of the network - it should develop cooperation with government, civil society organizations, grant-making organizations such as foundations and international institutions alike.

The issues raised and opinions expressed during the discussions may be summarized under the three headings used by the Secretariat in the preliminary summary it presented at the end of discussion of item two of the agenda. These were the following:

Structural issues:

  • The gap between researchers, policy makers, and practitioners makes it very difficult to improve and enlarge the knowledge base. Documentation, data and knowledge are scarce, dispersed and disparate. Despite the existence of a number of centres, institutes and networks, there is still a huge gap in information exchange and dissemination. Nobody has a comprehensive idea of the current range of bodies documenting cultural resources. There is a need for more systematic and institutionalized cooperation, for without this it will not be possible to adequately monitor complex cultural policy issues in a global and comparative perspective.
  • Existing bodies show a great variety of mandates and functions, but this should not be an obstacle to their working together.
  • Governments at various levels should be seen as the main audience and clients - it is essential to better understand their needs.
  • There is a common challenge of stimulating cultural demand on the part of civil society. Existing cultural policies and structures are often outdated and do not reflect current realities, let alone emerging trends.
  • These are problems everywhere, but the countries of the South face the most serious ones. In a lack of appropriate resources, infrastructures, data and capacities, governments find it very difficult to develop sustainable cultural policies and research programmes. Observatories, therefore, find it equally difficult to monitor complex policy issues. Capacity building needs to be more than information exchange, although this is vital - in addition there needs to be proactive communication, joint reflection and cooperation. Hence the importance of inter-regional cooperation and authentic partnership. One of the purposes of the observatory network should be to strengthen South-North and South-South cooperation. It should be based on regional cooperation between institutions facing similar problems and situations. Networking should offer opportunities for participants to be involved equitably in global undertakings while preserving their identities.

Conceptual issues

  • What are the sorts of entities that should be recognized as legitimate players in the networking process envisaged? There is no need for a rigid definition. Some participants expressed the view, however, that criteria such as the following should be applied: entities should have a permanent structure and clearly defined methodology and should work in a long-term perspective.
  • Cultural policies in many cases (particularly developing countries) are anachronistic, too fragmentary and narrow in their scope. They do not reflect current realities, evolving priorities and emerging values. Priority is work that can help bring them up to date, broaden the paradigm.
  • Indicators are indispensable in order to develop a new language to facilitate communication between culture and other sectors. There is a need for basic statistical information as well as digested and processed figures that are trans-nationally comparable. Indicators are also indispensable for anticipatory analysis, which is essential. Whichever organization comes up with a set of robust cultural indicators will have done a great service to the cause of culture.
  • The cultural sector itself is resistant to statistics. Many actors do not want to make the connections between quantitative (as well as qualitative) data and policy. Public authorities are reluctant to be evaluated.
  • The relation between culture and sustainable development provides a robust framework for this purpose, and one that has great potential.
  • Networks have a key role to play in terms of cultural globalization.

Issues of method

  • Whatever is done has to build on existing resources and structures, with great care being taken to avoid duplication. Information provision and exchange are the main needs, and whatever mechanism is developed must cater first and foremost to these requirements.
  • Because no single observatory can monitor global trends and specific situations, there is a clear need to create a collective process based on complementarity in their approaches and capacities, covering the whole production chain from research to policy recommendations. The pure information gap being the easiest one to meet, what is required above all is a forum which promotes the exchange of other elements such as memory, ideology, etc. that cannot be exchanged easily on the Internet. Technicians will not resolve the issues of content - these require a community of research orientations and practices.
  • The need for a specific, visible and global architecture that pools research efforts is not being met by any of the existing networks.
  • Any proposed network must carry out thematic work on a project by project basis.
  • Since it is difficult to draw pertinent conclusions from work that compares expenditures, existing facilities and the like, there would be more mileage in creating theme-based clusters of approaches, interests and trends.
  • Quality control and knowledge management are issues that need to be addressed. A key priority is understanding the knowledge management needs of particular cultural systems or issues, e.g. cultural rights, cultural industries or employment in the cultural sector. A feasibility analysis of knowledge management needs should be made.
  • Activities of the network should not be limited to research but should lead to policy recommendations and alternatives.
  • UNESCO itself has a leadership role to play. It should make its information provision activities more proactive and systematic. Thus a page could be established on its website that would be dedicated to the observatory function. If a network is to be developed, it will need a secretariat. For some activities UNESCO could provide the secretariat, for others it could be provided by one or more members of the network. The representative of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) for example, indicated that his organization, within the limits of its geographical mandate could offer institutional and financial support for the implementation of projects concerning topics such as the cultural industries of ethnic minorities, the impact of informatics on cultural development and the uses of internet in the field of culture.
  • The network should identify some concrete actions, which can be carried out swiftly, e.g. the compilation of research findings already available at the level of its member institutions. These results could be disseminated in a series of publications under the network's label, giving it visibility and professional credibility. As a first step, the results of the questionnaire initiated by Canadian Heritage could be complemented by further information that maps the past, ongoing and planned research projects of participating institutions.


The key recommendations that emerged from the Workshop may be summarized as follows:

1. Objectives

The network should

  1. Develop exchange and dissemination of information, by establishing systematic international information exchange in relation to policy-making and by becoming a platform for access to information on main trends. The information should preferably be processed, classified and indexed in order to facilitate its use and retrieval. Another possibility would be to focus on providing meta-information.
  2. Promote the analysis, evaluation and future-oriented study of cultural policies by capitalizing on the experience and achievements of existing centres, think tanks, information services and networks.
  3. Fortify the knowledge base for cultural policy design and evaluation, by reducing knowledge gaps, bridging differences between institutions, concepts and approaches, particularly as regards interaction among researchers, policy makers and practitioners. The harmonization of statistics as well as the development of indicators will be key elements for improving the knowledge base.
  4. Facilitate the updating of cultural policies and their adaptation to recent geopolitical, economic, technological, scientific and cultural changes.
  5. Upgrade (valorize) the role of cultural policies in development and cooperation as well as in promoting dialogue between cultures. Promote advocacy to this effect among policy makers and UNESCO Member States, with their support.

2. Working procedures and operating guidelines

  1. There should be regional focal points in order to balance the requirements of a decentralized structure and efficient coordination, and to keep a realistic vision of the needs and capacities of different constituencies.
  2. The network will need a steering committee which should be set up in due course as a voluntary, self-monitoring group. In the meantime, the UNESCO Secretariat should set a follow up process in motion.
  3. A web site and discussion forum should be created, either by UNESCO or by Canadian Heritage if the latter is able to do so.
  4. Three working languages should be used (English, French and Spanish); the use of Russian and translation into other languages should be facilitated.
  5. The network should hold regular conferences on specific issues of topical relevance. (The representative of the Centro de superación cultural in Havana put forward a proposal to organize such a gathering in Havana in 2001 during the 2nd International Congress on Culture and Development.)
  6. Joint studies should be organized for the development of cultural indicators and statistics as well as for other key issues identified as priority themes. Defining a series of key subject clusters could facilitate comparative research. In implementing joint projects the ownership of the contributions should be respected. At the same time the procedures for establishing responsibilities and quality control should be clearly defined.
  7. The network should also focus on simple indexing of specialized knowledge, observatory activities, networks, etc.
  8. The network should generate publications and compile information and research findings.
  9. The network should adopt an effective name and logo for itself. Whatever name is chosen, it should reflect not the kinds of bodies that take part, but its real functions, i.e. research, analysis, documentation and information on cultural policies.

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The Florence Agreement and its Protocol of Nairobi

Normative texts and guide to the operation of the agreement - Importation of educational, scientific and cultural materials
UNESCO, Fifth edition, 1999, 63 pp., ISBN: 92-95000-00-5

This brochure contains the complete text of the Florence Agreement on the importation of objects of an educational, scientific or cultural nature entitled the Florence Agreement (1950) and its Protocol known as the Protocol of Nairobi (1976).

Since these two instruments were adopted, the international circulation of cultural goods has been continually increasing. This is due not only to the role that these products play in spreading knowledge of a world which is more and more technologically interlinked, but also to their growing share of international trade at a time of economic globalization.

The Florence Agreement was conceived along the lines of the GATT Agreement, which was already in operation at that time. The provisions of the present World Trade Organization, which replaced the former GATT, have given new life to the Florence Agreement.

The major purpose of the Agreement and the Protocol, as their titles indicate, is to make it easier to import educational, scientific and cultural materials. They reduce tariff, tax, currency and trade obstacles to the international circulation of these materials, permitting organizations and individuals to obtain them from abroad with less difficulty and at less cost.

The Protocol broadens the scope of the Agreement by extending the benefits it offers to additional objects and by granting further benefits to a number of materials.

The fifth, revised, edition of this brochure is intended to provide simple and straightforward information on the operation of the Florence Agreement and its Protocol. It is intended as a guide to institutions and persons needing to familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of these two instruments and draw maximum benefit from their contents. It explains the purpose of the Agreement and its Protocol, historical background, main benefits offered, the issue of freedom from customs duties, foreign exchange and licensing regulations. It also contains a detailed list of materials covered - namely, books, publications and documents; works of art and collectors' pieces of an educational, scientific or cultural character, visual and auditory material; scientific instruments or apparatus; articles for the blind; sports equipment; musical instruments and other musical equipment; materials and machines used for the production of books, publications and documents; and materials for public exhibition.

The booklet also gives some practical information on how to benefit from these instruments, which is the role of UNESCO, and also what is the relationship to the Agreement on Auditory and Visual Materials, as well as relationships with other international agreements.

For more information, please contact: UNESCO, Division of Creativity, Cultural Industries and Copyright, 1, rue Miollis, 75352 Paris Cedex, France; tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 55 95; http://www.unesco.org/culture/industries/index.html

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Tourisme, culture et développement dans la région arabe

by Mohamed Berriane
UNESCO, CLT-99/WS/4, 1999, 75 pp.

The author of this publication, Mohamed Berriane, professor at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, summarizes the results of eight independent studies done within the framework of the World Decade for Culture and Development on the topic of 'culture, tourism and development'. Those eight studies (authors: Mohamad Salah Derwy, Egypt; Peen A. Fakhoury, Jordan; Mohamed Berriane, Morocco; Mohsin Bin Al-Balushi, Oman; Questandi Shomali, Palestine; Samir Abdulac, Syria; Jellah Abdelkafi, Tunisia and Hussein Mohammed Abdull, Yemen) presented different aspects of culture, tourism and development through case studies referring to crafts activities, museum management, urban and rural tourism, management of tourism sites, cultural exchange and cultural tourism.

Besides an analysis of these topics, M. Berriane offers some recommendations regarding projects and programmes that could help in designing the strategy for the sustainable development of tourism industry based on culture and cultural and natural resources while respecting cultural identity, environment and intercultural dialogue.

The publication is written in French and is structured in four main chapters. The first introduces the topic of cultural tourism and gives an overview of the current situation in the eight Arab countries chosen for this study. In the second chapter the author analyses some case studies. In the third chapter he makes some proposals for the evaluation and economic use of some comparative advantages and potentialities of cultural tourism. The fourth chapter describes some main problems and obstacles for the sustainable development of the region and the development of its tourism industry.

For more information, please contact: Hervé Barré, Chief of the Research and Development Unit, Cultural Heritage Division, Culture Sector, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 68 42 99; fax.: +33 (0)1 45 68 55 93; http://www.unesco.org/culture

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Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Sahara

by Ezzedine Hosni
UNESCO, CLT-2000/WS/1, 2000, 71 pp.

Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Sahara is a study produced at the behest of UNESCO and submitted by Tunisia. It presents an extremely vast expanse of Africa spread over ten states featuring numerous natural reserves and cultural sites in need of preservation for future generations. The different forms of tourism policy pursued in Saharan countries are brought to light in this study, thus providing for a critical assessment of the pioneering experiments that some of them have already carried out within the framework of Saharan tourism development. Equally, it will offer instructive insight to guide the other countries in their future initiatives geared to environmental protection, safeguarding of cultural heritage and local development. Its proposed strategic guidelines for sustainable tourism development in the Sahara could boost efforts to raise awareness among Saharan tourism industry actors at every level and pave the way for precisely defined projects with a focus on training, employment, the enhancement of cultures, traditions, crafts and architecture, and the harmonization of tourism with other sectors of the economy such as agriculture or trade.

The study concentrates on several questions, such as:

  • How might Saharan tourism help to resolve the development problems of drought- and desertification-affected arid areas?
  • How might Saharan tourism encourage the protection of Sahara's cultural and natural heritage, while bolstering environmental actions geared to combating desertification for the sake of sustainable development?
  • How can socio-economic development through tourism be reconciled with the utilization of cultural, natural and human resources, and with the sustainable management of fragile Saharan ecosystems?

The study is divided into three major chapters:

  • the first dealing with geophysical and socio-ecological characteristics of the Sahara, stakes involved in natural resource management and action against desertification, international actions geared to combating desertification and safeguarding cultural heritage;
  • the second presenting case studies recognizing diversity and distinctive regional features of Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Algeria, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Sudan, and assessing Saharan tourism development; and
  • the third offering concrete proposals for sustainable development in the Sahara and suggesting strategy guidelines based on five principles.

It is a valuable study helping to safeguard cultural and natural heritage and at the same time creating the right conditions for local populations to flourish culturally, socially and economically.

To obtain the study, please contact: Hervé Barré, Chief of the Research and Development Unit, Cultural Heritage Division, Culture Sector, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 68 42 99; fax.: +33 (0)1 45 68 55 93; http://www.unesco.org/culture

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UNITWIN / UNESCO Chairs Programme
UNESCO, ED-99/WS17, 1999, 459 pp.

The UNESCO / UNITWIN Chairs Programme was launched following the decision of the General Conference of UNESCO at its 26th session in 1991. The principal goals of this programme were to give new impetus to inter-university cooperation agreements with a view to energising transfer of knowledge, especially in favour of developing countries; to help create and reinforce networks; to create centres for specialised studies and advanced research with the chairs, working through networks, as focal points; to offset the consequences of the brain-drain.

Today, the UNITWIN / UNESCO Chairs Programme comprises more than 360 chairs, and cooperates with some 60 networks across the world.

This directory is composed of two parts:

Part I presents the UNESCO Chairs by country, and Part II in alphabetical order, listing also the networks partners of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme. The individual entries contain the following information: title of the chair and/or network, followed by the year of signature of the agreement (or contract); fields/disciplines of activities as well as objectives; name(s) of the host and partner institutions; name and address of the chairholder/project co-ordinator.

The Directory also includes statistical data (graphs) indicating the number and distribution of the UNESCO Chairs by region and by field, as well as two indexes for the chairs (per country and per field), and one index by field for the networks.

For more information, please contact: UNESCO, The Division of Higher Education, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris Cedex, France, tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 10 95; fax.: +33 (0)1 45 68 56 28; http://www.unesco.org/education/educationprog/unitwin/index.html

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The Preparatory Meeting of Experts for the Pan-African Conference on Culture and Development

Report from Lomé

This expert meeting, organised jointly by UNESCO, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the Regional Cultural Action Centre (CRAC), was held in Lomé, Togo, 1-2 June 2000. The General Conference of UNESCO at its 30th session gave its full support and encouraged the organisation of a Pan-African Conference under the auspices and with the participation of the OAU Heads of States and Government and prominent personalities of culture, to be held in Lomé, Togo in the year 2001.

The aim of the meeting was to identify the most important elements of the Stockholm Plan of Action, as well as particular problems and action priorities, such as:

  • The integration of a cultural approach into strategies of development (the role of national authorities and economic integration agencies as well as concerned decision-makers and strategists);
  • The definition of new roles of cultural policies and inter-African cultural co-operation within this perspective (the role of national authorities and institutions, and the regional and sub-regional agencies concerned).

The conclusions of this meeting serve as a basis for the preparation of background documents to be adopted at the Pan-African Conference including all working documents and the Draft Declaration/Action Plan. It was agreed to organise another preparatory meeting at the ministerial level during the first quarter of the year 2001.

For more information, please contact: Centre régional d'action culturelle (CRAC), BP. 3253, Lomé, Togo, tel.: (228) 22 44 33; fax: (228) 22 42 28.

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A Symposium on the Policies, Strategies and Experiences in the Financing of Culture in Africa

Report from Abidjan

This symposium was organised by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in cooperation with the Ministry of Communication and Culture of Ivory Coast and with the financial support of the Ford Foundation. There were more than 60 experts and observers representing 14 countries and 18 organisations (international, regional and national) concerned with the topic of the symposium, which was held in Abidjan, 5-9 June 2000.

Discussions at the symposium were organised around four main topics:

  • Introductory report and general debate on culture in Africa;
  • Policies, strategies and experiences of financing culture in Africa;
  • Extrabudgetary sources and resources, international, bilateral and multilateral cooperation assistance, patronage and sponsorship;
  • Report of the working group on the OAU cultural fund: restructuring and revival.

During ten sessions, the participants discussed issues related to the cultural sector in Africa, economic aspects of cultural policies, national reports, governmental relations with national, regional and pan-African/intergovernmental organisations; relations between individual creators, public and private sector and professional organisations; different sources of extra-budgetary funds and some specific projects on the national and international level.

The participants agreed that it was important to focus on culture when discussing the overall development of this region. It was stressed that there was a major difference between culture and other economic activities, especially related to supply and demand, low productivity rate in some artistic fields, concentration of funds in cultural industries, some negative aspects of globalisation, and the role of the public sector regarding the specific problems of creators, producers and beneficiaries of culture.

This symposium proved useful in assessing the overall situation of cultural policies in Africa and in collecting some interesting information that will be further analysed by experts at the national and international level.

For more information, please contact: Ministère de la culture, B.P. V 39 Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, tel.: 225 21 40 34; fax: 225 21 33 59.

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The Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World

Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), 1998, 200 pp.

The Sixth Islamic Summit adopted the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World in December 1991 in Dakar. Prepared by ISESCO in co-operation and co-ordination with the OIC General Secretariat, the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World clearly indicates, for the first time ever, the path to be followed by Islamic countries in order to make a qualitative leap in cultural action methods, tools and objectives, as well as in the distinct, important role played by culture in the achievement of comprehensive, integrated and balanced human development. The aim is to achieve the development of the Islamic world through cultural action, which covers, at the theoretical and practical level, all aspects of human activity in the fields of creativity, expression, awareness-raising, instruction, education and training. In addition to laying down the general groundwork of the mission of culture in Islamic countries, this Strategy expounds its functions, tasks, concepts and characteristics and identifies its references and objectives. It also highlights the role of culture in development mechanisms, shedding light on the role of culture in development and stressing its vital necessity. Building cultural action on these bases, the Strategy gives substance to the general framework of the role of culture in development in such a way as to meet the aspirations of the Muslim Ummah as it prepares itself for the twenty-first century with the greatest measure of cohesion and determination to take up the challenges of the next century and with a deeper awareness of the requirements of civilizational development and progress within the framework of the Islamic cultural identity and faith.

This publication contains integral versions of the Declaration in English, French and Arabic, with a preface by Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of ISESCO. The Declaration consists of the Introduction and five chapters: (I) Concepts, Characteristics and Sources; (II) Objectives of the Islamic Cultural Strategy; (III) Islamic Cultural Issues; (IV) Fields of Action of Islamic Culture, and (V) Means of Implementation of the Plan.

For more information, please contact: ISESCO, Ave. Attine, Hay Riad, Rabat, Morocco, P.O.Box 2275, P.C. 10104, tel.: +(212 7) 77 24 33 / 67 22 90 / 67 22 94; fax.: +(212 7) 77 74 59 / 77 20 58; http://www.isesco.org.ma