No future without culture – Culture2030Goal campaign urges recognition in Pact for Future

February 2, 2024, 9:54 am

The Summit of the Future, the milestone UN event of 2024, is intended as an opportunity to make key improvements to the global governance system’s ability to deliver on the goals of peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.

As the #Culture2030Goal campaign, we believe that a critical determinant of success in these efforts is how well, at all levels, cultural actors and factors are integrated into policy making and delivery.

It is for this reason that it is deeply disappointing that the first draft of the Pact for the Future – the planned key output document from the Summit – makes only cursory reference to culture.

This is despite the clear emphasis on the importance of culture, not only as a goal in itself, but as an essential driver of success across the board, in a wide range of consensus documents agreed by governments over the past year and a half. As a result, and despite the Pact’s premise as a force for change, it rather risks confirming a business-as-usual approach.

Culture has a clear place in this text. Its neglect represents a key barrier to sustainable development, a driver of insecurity, a narrowing of our understanding of society, a break on the imagination needed to envisage the future, and an impoverishment of the toolkit available to the global governance system to achieve its objectives.

In order to ensure that culture is adequately integrated into the final version of the Pact for the Future, it is crucial for cultural actors and organizations to actively be engaged in the negotiation process. By voicing their concerns and advocating for the inclusion of culture as a central component of global governance, these actors can contribute to a more comprehensive and effective approach towards achieving the goals of peace, security, sustainable development, and human rights. This engagement can also help bridge the gap between policy making and cultural practices on the ground, ensuring that the implementation of the Pact reflects the diverse and dynamic nature of cultural expressions worldwide.

There is nonetheless time to correct this mistake. We remain confident that there is space for the positive and substantive recognition of the role of culture in the final version of the Pact. Just as the Declaration of the SDG Summit only incorporated text on culture after the actions of Member States, intergovernmental organisations and civil society, we believe that the same can be achieved here.

We stand ready to work with the co-facilitators, Member States, and all stakeholders to seek a rapid remedy to this situation.


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