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Culturelink review, no.43/August 2004 - contents - imprint - archive

Arts, Crafts and Cultural Enterprises

Creating Today the Heritage of Tomorrow

Through its actions oriented towards culture, UNESCO implements strategies to promote the diversity of global cultural offerings, focusing on the whole chain of cultural practice. Its programme is designed so it could ensure that contemporary creators, artists, artisans and designers - assisted by cultural entrepreneurs in their quest for new forms of expression - continue shaping today the cultural heritage of tomorrow.

UNESCO has global vision of the social, cultural and economic role of crafts and design. Given the fact that crafts people are often poor and live in remote rural areas, UNESCO directs its activities to poverty alleviation and the empowerment of women through crafts, by sponsoring regional crafts prizes and introducing winners to some of the world's best known crafts fairs and markets. In its activities aimed to promote contemporary design, UNESCO has initiated the international contest - Design 21 for young designers from North and South.

In its activities aimed at promoting arts and artists, UNESCO's programme emphasizes education and networking among artists and international exchange. In addition to supporting numerous arts festivals and establishing UNESCO's Prize for the Promotion of the Arts, UNESCO has developed different regularly updated web portals to serve the needs of artists, such as the

In 1974 UNESCO started the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture, a foundation-like institution that serves as a resource for the arts and a catalyst for action in support of contemporary cultures. The Fund's flagship programme, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists, provides residency training grants for young artists in different art disciplines.

UNESCO also develops its activities and expertise relevant for cultural industries (books, music and audio visual industries), trying to ensure that developing countries can participate in reaping the benefits and positive effects of globalization. Over the years, many developing countries have benefited by improving their publishing industries and facilitating access of marginalised groups to reading material (e.g., through professionalized book and mobile library schemes). Tools designed to assist the cultural industries are the Index Translationum (www.unesco.org/culture/xtrans), the Clearing House for Literary Translation (www.unesco.org/culture/lit) and the List of Representative Works of World Cinema. One topic especially important for the cultural industries is copyright as the legal framework for all creative sectors. UNESCO has this subject on its agenda ever since 1952 when it adopted the Universal Copyright Convention.

In 2002 UNESCO launched the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity (See Culturelink no. 42/April 2004, pp. 35-39.), which aims to sustain the situation in which cultural diversity in cultural goods and services goes hand-in-hand with economic development and copyright enforcement. The Alliance tries to create synergy among public, private and not-for-profit sectors in support of creative enterprise. The Alliance's projects tackle a wide range of needs throughout the creative industry chain, such as technological and legal expertise, training in business skills, North/South networking assistance, etc.

For more information, please contact: Division of the Arts and Cultural Enterprise, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, F-75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, tel.: +331 4568 4337; fax: +331 4568 5595


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Report on the Social Dimension of Globalization

The report A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All, prepared by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, was presented July 7, 2004, at UNESCO by two members of the Commission - the Brazilian anthropologist Ruth Cardoso, President of Comunidade Solid ria (Community Solidarity Council), and the former Minister of Culture of Mali, Aminata D. Traor, Director of the Centre Amadou Hanyrat Ba (CAHBA).

The meeting was organized by UNESCO's Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). The report was presented and its recommendations debated. The presentation by Ruth Cardoso and Aminata D. Traor‚ was followed by two panel discussions with prominent scientists and specialists: 'Global governance and social regulation of globalization' and 'Cross-border population movements'.

The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization was created by the ILO in February 2002. This independent body, co-chaired by Tarja Halonen, President of Finland, and Benjamin Mkapa, President of Tanzania, was created to meet the needs of people as they cope with the unprecedented changes that globalization has brought to their lives and societies.

The report 'A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All' - the first on this subject - calls for an urgent rethink of global governance and its current policies. The authors recommend focusing attention on the needs and concerns of citizens, and on the best means of harnessing the potential of globalization for the benefit of the majority of populations.

Among the measures the report advocates are a series of reforms intended to improve governance and make it more coherent at both national and international levels. These include fairer rules for international trade, investment, finance and migration, which take into account the interests, rights and responsibilities of all those concerned.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/wcsdg

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Eurasia in the 21st Century - Dialogue of Cultures or Conflict of Civilizations?

The Issyk-Kul Declaration on Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations in Eurasia

The International conference Eurasia in the 21st Century - Dialogue of Cultures or Conflict of Civilizations? was held in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, 10-11 June 2004. The conference took its point of departure in the recent resolution (Resolution 47) of UNESCO's General Conference, and focused on the socio-political, cultural and religious context of the Eurasian region.

In the quest for sustainable development, the conference highlighted the significance of social-cultural pluralism. It posed questions such as: How can European values and principles be adapted to the Central Asian context? Can 'Western culture' be valued in a different cultural environment? What could be the next stage in the historical development of Eurasia - dialogue or conflict? Many conference participants stated that the analysis of the social processes involved was essential to gauge their impact on the interaction of, and compromise between, different civilizations. Many participants also shared the view that the interaction of cultures is an integral feature and precondition of social progress.

The Conference issued The Issyk-Kul Declaration on Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations in Eurasia. This declaration is a comprehensive six page document structurally divided into three main chapters:

  • Shared values as a framework for constructive interaction and sustained dialogue,
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  • The role and potential of cultural diversity as a vector for dialogue, and
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  • Water resources and the quest for human security as a new dimension of dialogue.

To obtain the complete text of this Declaration, please contact: Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP), UNESCO, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France; fax: (33) 1 45 68 55 21; e-mail: dialogue@unesco.org; http://www.unesco.org/dialogue/kyrgyzstan/declaration.htm

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The World Observatory on the Social Status of the Artist

The Observatory on the Social Status of the Artist is a project initiated by UNESCO as a follow-up to the World Congress on the implementation of the Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist (1980), held at UNESCO Headquarters from 16 to 20 June 1997. The Observatory is intended as a practical database for artists and other cultural workers in different regions of the world. It will: (a) provide an overview of the status of the artist worldwide, in particular with respect to rights, conditions of employment and work, social security, and so forth; (b) serve as a basis for comparison of the status of the artist in different countries, thereby drawing attention to conditions which need to be changed. The Observatory will therefore provide information on the changes and progress made in this domain nationally, regionally and internationally.

By monitoring the social status of those who constitute the lifeblood of culture, the Observatory hopes to make a practical contribution to the safeguarding of cultural diversity and to the promotion of dialogue among cultures, and to guarantee sustainable development and globalization with a human face.

For more information, please visit: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=8084&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_ SECTI ON=201.html

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The copyright programme of UNESCO has launched an on-line Collection of National Copyright Laws. The page comprises about 100 laws and is constantly being updated and expanded.

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UNESCO World Summit on Culture/Arts Education

A UNESCO World Summit on Culture/Arts Education is to be held in Portugal, 12-15 September 2005.

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Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA)

The establishment of the Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA) (See Culturelink Dossier in: Culturelink no. 36/April 2002, pp. 113-162.) was proposed, in May 2001, as a result of a series of regional consultations and expert meetings (Kinshasa, August 2000; Pretoria, January 2001; Cape Town, May 2001) organized jointly by the African Union (the former Organization of African Unity), the Ford Foundation and UNESCO, following the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development (Stockholm, 1998), which proposed to encourage the establishment of networks for research and information on cultural policies for development, including a study of the establishment of an observatory of cultural policies.

The Observatory was set up in 2002, with a view to monitor cultural trends and national cultural policies in the region and enhance their integration in human development strategies through advocacy, information, research, capacity building, networking, co-ordination and cooperation at the regional and international levels.

The Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA) should be a service-oriented resource centre and a regional co-ordinating and monitoring body for a network of experts and institutions involved in policy and decision making, cultural administration and management, as well as research, training and information.

Activities realized:

  • the creation of a website as a World Wide Web resource centre (realized in cooperation with Culturelink, address http://www.culturelink.org/ocpa);
  • the preparation of basic documents (project document, strategy paper, draft statutes, draft host country agreement, work plan and budget) - see project document in English and French at http://www.ocpanet.org/about/En_Draft_OCPA_Project_Document.doc
  • the distribution of the information bulletin OCPA News by e-mail: until February 2004, 102 issues have been distributed; the bulletin is sent presently to more than 1,550 addressees; each issue has now 15 to 20 pages; altogether the issues distributed represent some 1,800 pages;
  • development of databases and a documentation centre (email contacts with specialists, Member States and organizations);
  • the identification of institutions concerned and potential partners (continuous) and regular, two-way exchange of e-mail information newsletters with some 80 international networks and specialized institutions interested in cultural policy and cooperation;
  • the design of a logo and a brochure in English and French widely distributed to possible partners and in international events such as the Maputo Task Force Meeting (Mozambique, May 2002); the 2nd African Union Summit (Mozambique, July 2003); the SADC Summit/Council of Ministers (Tanzania, August 2003), and the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO (October 2003);
  • publication of a special dossier in the April 2002 issue of the Culturelink Review presenting the OCPA project document and a progress report on the OCPA website;
  • establishment of a list of documents on cultural policy and cultural development in Africa published since the 1960s (400 titles, 15,000 pages of documents);
  • participation in the organization of African regional meetings, such as
    • First Meeting of Experts for the Preparation of the Pan-African Cultural Congress (Nairobi, Kenya, 16-18 December 2002) - preparation of a project document concerning the Pan-African Cultural Congress;
    • Regional Consultation on the training needs in Africa in the field of cultural policies and management (Nairobi, 19 December 2002) - preparation of a report and a project proposal for mobilizing extra-budgetary funds for a regional programme for training cultural management specialists;
    • Workshop on Culture and Development in the Programme of Action of the NEPAD (Abidjan, Cöte d'Ivoire, 2-5 September 2003) - preparation of the final report;
    • The meeting of the OCPA Steering Committee (Maputo, 1-2 March 2004);
    • The International Seminar on Cultural Indicators of Human Development in Africa (Maputo, 3-5 March 2004).

For more information, please visit: http://www.ocpanet.org/ or http://www.culturelink.org/ocpa