The 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions entered into force in March 2007. This was a milestone in the international cultural policies as it provided a new framework for informed, transparent and participatory systems of governance for culture. Since then, Parties have expressed an increasing demand for  information,  training,  and  technical  assistance,  with  a  view  to  addressing  critical  capacity  and knowledge gaps. In  2018,  within  the  framework  of  the  initiative  “EU/UNESCO  Expert  Facility  on  the  Governance  of Culture in Developing Countries: Creating a new regulatory environment for the cultural and creative industries and South‐South cooperation”, funded by the EU, a new call to renew the Expert Facility for the third time was announced. As a result, 42 new international experts have been selected for a 4‐year mandate (2019‐2022) and I am proud to be one of them. Our group of 26 women and 16 men from 35 countries represents a wealth of cutting-edge expertise in issues related to the governance of culture and others topics such as digital technologies, media diversity, trade, gender equality, artistic freedom or status of the artist.

In order to discuss approaches and methods in facilitating policy monitoring, policy design and policy implementation processes, UNESCO convened a 3-day meeting for the Expert Facility from 12 to 14 February 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand

The Expert Facility may be solicited to support many different areas of the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions such as: developing training materials; writing research papers; evaluating funding requests for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity; providing policy advice, trainings and capacity development; supporting policy monitoring activities; advancing advocacy and networking opportunities, etc.  More  specifically,  during  the  2019‐2021  period,  UNESCO  will  implement,  with  funding  from  the European Union, a project to support the establishment of regulatory frameworks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promote South‐South cooperation.

The Expert Facility acts as an international pool of recognized experts (independent consultants, academics and researchers, governmental officials and civil servants, cultural operators, managers of cultural institutions or associations, etc.) that have a relevant experience in designing or implementing policies to support cultural and creative sectors (e.g., publishing, visual arts, film, music, performing arts, etc).

UNESCO  will  also  work  with  the  Expert  Facility  to  assist  in  the  implementation  of  other key programmes and activities. These include:

  • Implementing the project “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions4”  (2018‐2021) in 16 countries, funded by Sweden. This project will help governments and civil society organizations engage in evidence based and participatory policy monitoring processes, through the preparation of quadrennial periodic reports, and support the preparation of the third edition of the Global Report ‘re‐ Shaping Cultural Policies” in June 2021 (See concept note).
  • Implementing  the  project  “Creative  Industries  development  for  the  diversity  of  cultural expressions”, funded by the Republic of Korea (2019‐2021
  • Assessing new funding requests for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (10th  call to be issued in February 2019).

The Meeting in Bangkok served to:

  • bring together the new members of the UNESCO Expert Facility;
  • discuss the role of the Expert Facility and present UNESCO’s tools, materials and strategic areas of intervention for the promotion and implementation of the 2005 Convention;
  • discuss the approach of members of the Expert Facility in facilitating policy monitoring, policy design and policy implementation processes, with a particular attention to the implementation of the EU/UNESCO project on the creation of new regulatory environment for the cultural and creative industries and the promotion of South‐South cooperation;
  • engage discussions between Facility experts and UNESCO colleagues on main  challenges in delivering future capacity‐development interventions.
  • Supporting sustainable system of governance for culture;
  • Achieving a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals;
  • Integrating culture in sustainable development framework;
  • Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We spent three productive days in sharing and learning on understanding the future role and responsibilities of the Expert Facility, providing feedback and suggestions on the overall capacity-building strategy, methodology and project tools regarding the 2005 Convention. We drafted together the future steps for the possible capacity-development interventions in the framework of the 2005 Conventions, specifically looking at the four key goals and their implementation:

The website of the 2005 Convention contains rich resources on activities, partnership, publications, research, data, news, events, videos and many other tools related to the implementation of the Convention: https://en.unesco.org/creativity/ 

The Global Report series tracks on a biennial basis the implementation of the 2005 Convention analyzing trends, showcasing successes and highlighting challenges faced by Parties to the Convention. Through the development of indicators and benchmarks, it assesses the impact of policies and measures over time in order to provide key actors with better knowledge on how to support evidence-based policy, and to strengthen informed, transparent and participatory systems of governance for culture.  The Third Global Report will be launched in 2021.

Important documents for further reading:

 

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