Florence Declaration Outlines Recommendations on Culture for Post-2015 Agenda
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Participants adopted the Florence Declaration on the incorporation of culture in the post-2015 development agenda, at the Third World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries (FOCUS).

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), along with the Government of Italy, the Region of Tuscany and the Municipality of Florence, co-organized the Forum, which convened from 2-4 October 2014, in Florence, Italy.

UNESCO4 October 2014: Participants adopted the Florence Declaration on the incorporation of culture in the post-2015 development agenda, at the Third World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries (FOCUS). The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), along with the Government of Italy, the Region of Tuscany and the Municipality of Florence, co-organized the Forum, which convened from 2-4 October 2014, in Florence, Italy.

The event addressed the contribution of culture to sustainable development through stimulating employment, growth and innovation, among other areas.

“Culture is the petrol of countries that are rich in history and talent. In a global economy of knowledge, investing in culture represents a forward looking decision,” UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, told the Forum in opening remarks. She stressed the importance of countries’ investing in culture in the same way that they invest in energy and technology, and underscored the role of culture in reinforcing social cohesion and development.

The Declaration emphasizes the contribution of culture and the cultural industries as sources of creativity and innovation for sustainable development, and the importance of measuring the impact of culture and creativity for sustainable development. It recognizes culture as an enabler and driver of sustainable development, and outlines a series of targets and indicators on the contribution of culture to be included in post-2015 goals on poverty reduction, sustainable cities and urbanization, education, the environment and climate change, gender equality and women’s empowerment, social inclusion and reconciliation.

The Forum included a roundtable debate on UNESCO cultural heritage preservation projects in Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Myanmar, which showcased the rule of cultural heritage in sustainable development and peacebuilding, and a photographic exhibit on cooperation between UNESCO and Italy on the safeguarding of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage.

The UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Outcome Document proposes that Goal 4 on education include a target on ensuring that all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including through appreciation of culture’s contribution to sustainable development. Proposed Goal 8 on employment and decent work for all includes a target on devising and implementing policies to promote sustainable tourism, which creates jobs, promotes local culture and products. Culture is also addressed under sustainable consumption and production (SCP). [UNESCO Overview] [UNESCO Press Release, 2 October] [UNESCO Press Release, 4 October] [Forum Website] [UNESCO Website on Culture and Development] [Florence Declaration] [OWG Outcome Document]

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