BRUSSELS (ACP Press) – Cultural Ministers throughout the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States will meet at the Palais des Congrès in Niamey, Niger from October 19 to 20 for the 5th Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture. The Ministerial meeting will be preceded by a two-day preparatory technical meeting of ACP Senior Officials in charge of Culture.
The main theme of the meeting will be Strengthening and Diversifying Partnerships for ACP Cultures. The meetings will help to assess the implementation of the commitments made by ACP Ministers in Brussels in 2017 and to reach a strong ACP Group position on culture’s contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It will also provide an opportunity to study the culture sector’s new financing mechanisms and to deepen reflection on the contribution of cultural and creative industries to development and job creation. According to the 2018 Creative Economy Outlook by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the size of the global market for creative goods was $509 billion in 2015 with an average growth rate in excess of 7% between 2002 and 2015.
The new ACP-European Union programme, titled: “ACP-EU Culture – towards a sustainable cultural industry” will also be presented during the Meeting. The programme seeks to support the creation and production of quality goods and services and improve the access by cultural producers to innovative financing and to local, regional and international markets.
Other topics to be discussed during the meeting include cultural opportunities in South-South Cooperation, the critical role for culture in combating global warming and a follow-up on the intra-ACP commitments regarding the sectors of culture and development.
ACP Secretary General, Dr. Patrick I. Gomes, pointing out the importance of the cultural sector to the development of ACP countries, said: “ACP countries have a rich cultural tradition, which we too often take for granted. Culture guides every facet of our lives and we need to see how we can draw on our considerable cultural assets to address critical issues such as climate change, social inclusiveness, poverty reduction, entrepreneurship and job creation.”
Dr. Gomes added that with respect to the current negotiations for the post-2020 cooperation agreement with the European Union (EU), a key outcome of the meeting would be to look at ways to improve the effectiveness of the intra-ACP commitments in the sectors of culture and development.
Minister in charge of Cultural Renaissance, Arts and Social Modernization, Niger, Assoumana Malam Issa, indicated that “The Government and People of Niger are pleased to host this high-level meeting. We look forward to sharing the culture of Niger with our ACP family and to working on a plan to put culture at the heart of development policies.”
The 4th Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture was held in Brussels, Belgium in 2017. The meeting of Culture Ministers takes place in recognition of the important contribution of culture to multilateralism, community cohesion and the cementing of unity and integration processes. [IDN-InDepthNews – 25 September 2019]
Image credit: ACP Press.
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