|Intergovernmental Conference on
Cultural Policies for Development
(Stockholm, Sweden, 30 March - 2 April 1998)
"When culture is understood as the basis of development the very notion of cultural policy has to be considerably broadened. Any policy for development must be profoundly sensitive to and inspired by culture itself... defining and applying such a policy means finding factors of cohesion that hold multi-ethnic societies together, by making much better use of the realities and opportunities of pluralism. It implies promoting creativity in politics and governance, in technology, industry and business, in education and in social and community development -- as well as in the arts. It requires that the media be used to open up communication opportunities for all, by reducing the gap between the information "haves" and "have nots." It means adopting a gender perspective which looks at women's concerns, needs and interests and seeks a fairer redistribution of resources and power between men and women. It means giving children and young people a better place as bearers of a new world culture in the making. It implies a thoroughgoing diversification of the notion of cultural heritage in social change... It requires new research."1
1. Our Creative Diversity, Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, UNESCO Publishing, Paris, 1996, p.232.
2. Responding to these challenges requires a fundamental review of cultural policies and it is with this purpose that the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development has been convened. The Conference must not only explore new ideas, it must take them to the plane of strategies and action. While culture may appear to be on the ascendant in public awareness everywhere, it remains in the sphere of low priority politics in most countries, as "is often reflected both in the level of resources it is accorded and in the status of the ministries and civil servants who oversee it." It must be added that when culture has gained visibility, all too often this has been due to appreciation of culture as a mere instrument of economic growth, to its perceived contribution to the economy and employment, rather than to respect for it as constitutive of human development, that is as a key factor of empowerment and confidence building. If culture is to be made central, this means that the concerns of the state must encompass cultural well-being as part and parcel of social and economic well-being. Hence cultural policies need to be reconstructed on a broader basis. They need to encompass new challenges in the arts and the heritage yet go beyond these areas to embrace human development and the promotion of pluralism, as well as the fostering of social cohesion and creativity. It appears vital, therefore, to reposition cultural policies in this way and to link them more closely with policy approaches in other fields. The success of future cultural policies will greatly depend on whether the relationship between culture and development can be effectively integrated and on the capacity of policy-makers to achieve results cross-sectorally.
3. One such cross-sectoral field is the area of gender, which will be alluded to throughout this document. It is important to remember that despite significant legislative achievements conducive to gender equality at the national, regional and international levels, little real change has occurred in practice. Womens opportunities in the changing cultural landscape remain weak. This imbalance needs to be addressed by bringing to the forefront the creative contributions of women to human development.
4. In such ways, therefore, governments and their partners need to define their policy premises more clearly, identify the grounds for their intervention -- which have changed considerably in recent years -- and set clear directions and strategies for their implementation. The Stockholm Conference is intended to launch such a process, in terms that correspond to the needs of our time.
5. The Conference is also intended to renew the manner in which UNESCO itself contributes to guiding and enriching the cultural policy work of its Member States. By the end of the 1960s, UNESCO had already become the most important international forum of reflection on cultural policies. That decade, it should be remembered, had been marked by very specific geopolitical forces. In Africa and Asia, the long era of colonization had just ended. The new countries were eager to harness culture to the task of nation building. It was also the heyday of the East-West Cold War, and in most communist regimes of the time, the state played a key role, providing generous financing but at the same time allowing very little freedom of expression outside the official party line. In the West, cultural policies ran a wide gamut of philosophies and applications, ranging from a leading, supportive yet liberal role for the state to a deliberately non-interventionist approach. Across the world, however, cultural policies were conceived as a purely national issue, as tools available to culturally sovereign states forging their own national identity.
6. This approach reigned through the 1970's and well into the 1980's, as UNESCO organized a series of intergovernmental conferences on cultural policies. The series began in Venice in 1970, with the "Intergovernmental Conference on the Administrative and Financial Aspects of Cultural Policies", and culminated at Mexico in 1982, with the World Conference on Cultural Policies (MONDIACULT). The process promoted a number of important concepts, not all of which were universally accepted at the time, such as a vision of culture far broader than the fine arts and the heritage, that included world-views, value systems and beliefs, and distinct ways of life. In this perspective, development could no longer be considered solely from the economic perspective. With a view to achieving this objective, in the 1980's UNESCO conceived the idea of the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997) and it was in that framework that the World Commission on Culture and Development was established. While the efforts undertaken during the World Decade have borne fruit, the objective of including culture as a key dimension in the United Nations International Development Strategies has not yet been attained. For "it was only in the Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade that we were able to introduce education and, to a lesser extent, science. Communication was still missing, and culture remained excluded...The cultural dimension of development has yet to be recognized at its true worth." Today, however, there are some grounds for optimism: the United Nations General Assembly recently adopted at its 52nd session, under the heading "Sustainable Development and International Economic Co-operation: Cultural Development", a resolution which inter alia requests the Secretary-General, "in the elaboration of the international development strategy for the next United Nations development decade, to include recommendations for the integration of the cultural dimension in development activities."
7. The 1990s, however, have been marked by very considerable and rapid change, during which the contours of cultural policy have been fluid and uncertain, as national cultures have been drawn into new global inter-connections. As a result, demand for international co-operation in cultural policy, hence for a direct UNESCO contribution in this field, shrank considerably as the 1980s drew to a close and, with the waning of the Cold War, new forces came to the fore. Today, however, the pendulum has swung back to a keen interest in cultural policy. We are in a new phase. We are beginning to understand far more clearly the ways in which we need to rethink cultural policies, the role of the state with regard to cultural matters, in a globalized world. There are new challenges, new risks, new uncertainties and new struggles. In this context, cultural policies do not need to be dismantled, they need to be reconceived. The question today is not whether governments should adopt cultural policies but how they should do so more effectively, in an environment of inter-dependence and at a time in which the imperatives of promoting better mutual appreciation between cultures, of eliminating stereotypes, and of constructing "peace in the minds of men" must be recognized as primordial.
8. In reviving its own "tradition" of intergovernmental conferences on cultural policies, UNESCO itself must radically renew that tradition as well. The Stockholm Conference has been designed, therefore, to enable governmental delegates to interact more directly with representatives of civil society. By the same token, instead of seeking to adopt solemn declarations and resolutions it will seek practical outcomes. It will not explore theoretical issues or basic concepts in cultural policy, since both have been discussed at length on previous occasions already.
9. For governments, the practical outcomes might take the form of new principles and/or strategies. As the scope of governmental action varies considerably from country to country, and as in many states there are kinds of actions or fields of activity that do not come within the competence of the central government at all, particularly in federal systems, there are limits to any particular form of governmental action that may be prescribed. For UNESCO, the outcomes ought to consist of guidelines for new directions that may enrich its cultural programmes and make them more pertinent to present and future needs. The international community for its part has another very major stake in the Conference, which is the inclusion, at long last, of the unequivocal acknowledgement of culture as a central dimension of development in the Fifth International Development Strategy. An impact on policy-makers that would make this objective more attainable would be the finest outcome of the Conference.
10. In consequence, the Preliminary Agenda proposed by the Director-General in July 1997 and accepted by Member States was based on a selection of areas in which it appears not only possible but urgent to explore and define such practical outcomes and which provide a cross-sectoral framework for linking cultural policies to human development. This is the rationale that underlines the two main themes proposed for the Conference, namely i) the challenges of cultural diversity and ii) the challenges of recasting cultural policies. Under each of the two main themes, a series of sub-themes are to be discussed. The emphasis under main theme i) would be on key objectives and guidelines. Under theme ii) more emphasis would be placed on the methodologies and mechanisms needed to attain these objectives.
11. This Background Document has been designed simply to help Conference participants reflect on each of the ten agenda themes and prepare themselves for debate in the ten Forum sessions of the conference. Each section of the document opens with an overview of the main challenges, reviews some of the key issues in each domain, using as a point of departure the findings of the World Commission as well as recent trends and ideas. The text is succinct, so as to respect the limits on the volume of conference documentation decided by Member States. It does not refer to the relevant activities of UNESCO in the Conference domains, as documentation on these will be made available to participants.
12. The second working document for the Conference is a Draft Action Plan which will set out a number of urgent and broad commitments that can be shouldered nationally and/or internationally and can be expressed in terms of measurable outcomes. Ministers and senior officials who speak in the Plenary sessions will be asked to focus on the proposals contained in this document, so that the Conference may adopt a revised and improved version of this Action Plan.
1. The Challenges of Cultural Diversity
1.1. A commitment to pluralism
13. Today, as the world integrates and diversifies simultaneously, the paramount policy challenge is no doubt that of cultural pluralism. It is the twin challenge of unity in diversity, of nurturing the creative diversity that is the greatest wealth of the human species while at the same time managing this diversity to help the worlds peoples live together better. How can we forge societies that are truly pluralistic yet possess a shared sense of belonging? What can states do to help different cultural communities live together as one national community? Are current policies and practices effective in preserving cultural diversity, while at the same time promoting attitudes and values that encourage mutual respect? How should policies and institutions evolve so as to better respond to the needs of diverse societies? Can national identity be defined so that all communities may identify with the country and its self-definition? The World Commission on Culture and Development explored such issues, between as well as within nations: it perceived diversity on the one hand as a basic building block of our "emerging global civic culture" that requires global ethics and values, a new cultural conviviality. On the other, it perceived diversity as a major source of social energy for each nation. Hence it called for cultural policies that accommodate ethnic diversity, as well as the plurality of languages, ideologies and lifestyles. While the Commission recognized that there can be many different ways of taking such a path, it also recognized that "the most durable way of doing so is to create a sense of the nation as a civic community" rooted in values shared by all components of the national society.
Some key issues
14. New forms of cultural plurality. The plurality of cultures is not new to our age, for many societies have long been composed of several different cultural communities and coped with the diversity in their own ways. Contemporary culture is even more plural, and it has certain unique features which distinguish it from premodern societies. This plurality occurs in the context of increasing economic and cultural globalization, which leads on the one hand to a homogenisation in many areas, and on the other, to an increased awareness of heterogeneity. Plurality also arouses fears about the loss of identity and stimulates the rediscovery or invention of indigenous traditions to underpin and legitimise each culture's sense of difference. Yet all societies have their cultural differences, not just in terms of ethnicity, but also with regard to gender, age, religious beliefs, traditions of professional and social groups, to name just a few areas. Managing these different phenomena has become not only an ethical imperative but a profoundly utilitarian one as well. Some States have addressed these issues by the implementation of overtly multicultural policies, whereas others deal with them by adhering to an explicitly assimilationist stance, which leaves little or no room for the retention of distinctive cultural practices.
15. Multiculturalism: the options. Most societies today must reconcile the demands of unity and diversity in concrete and everyday ways; irrespective of whether similarities and differences stem from gender, religious beliefs, traditions, etc. Without unity, they cannot hold themselves together, take and enforce collectively binding decisions and generate a spirit of community. As for diversity, it is not only inescapable, but also enriches and contributes to collective well-being.
16. The World Commission underlined that cultural difference acts as a trigger for violent conflict "only when it is mobilized and manipulated to do so" - leading to results ranging from social exclusion to racism and violence against women. There are many who fear cultural diversity because of such negative consequences and would eschew pluralistic policies for this reason. Is it possible therefore to base policies on a constantly evolving platform which could unite all the diverse elements of a culture, yet give each one secure spaces for growth? A growing body of evidence from countries where multicultural approaches have been implemented despite mounting economic difficulties such as recession, indicates that such policies have not led to either fragmentation or conflict, but have aided cultural and political integration. However, such policies may cause dissatisfaction among majority groups which can in turn provoke unintended negative consequences. In other cases, they have tended to treat cultural communities as absolute and fixed groups, whereas in reality cultural groups themselves are not unitary and there is often intense discussion within them about their identity, boundaries and aspirations. What, then, are the sorts of policy stances, values and measures that can help nations encourage their cultural communities evolve a plural culture that both reflects and transcends all its components? How to go beyond multiculturalism, which can be reduced, after all, to no more than the juxtaposition of cultures, towards a deeper spirit of "interculturalism" adapted to a world of movement, contacts, exchanges and negotiations that result in dynamic, flexible identities and cultures, not static and rigid ones? How to integrate such a spirit into all development objectives in sectors such as social policy, governance, media and cultural industries, heritage conservation, etc.? Education in particular can and must play a role in preparing people for life in multicultural society, inculcating values and attitudes that engender tolerance, mutual respect, and democratic behaviour, as well as basic knowledge about others. How best to build such objectives into the content and methods of education?
17. The gender dimension. What does cultural pluralism mean for women and how does it affect gender relations? If cultural policies are to reflect the needs and visions of women as well as contribute to building new partnerships between women and men, they must incorporate equality as a binding principle and fully integrate a gender perspective. If true "creative diversity" is to be achieved, surely we must guarantee full recognition of the wealth of women's talents and work. However, and since women are not a homogeneous group, how can governments ensure that the diverse needs of all women, regardless of ethnic identity, sexual orientation, age or religion, are taken into account and give them equal access to education, training, resources and decision making processes?
1.2. Cultural rights
18. The notion of cultural rights looms increasingly large in the publics awareness of human rights but has not yet achieved equal prominence on the policy agenda. While massive breaches of human rights are often motivated by cultural considerations, no adequate recourse is available in the existing framework of human rights protection. This prompted the World Commission on Culture and Development to call for "standards to ensure protection and effective exercise of cultural rights" and for mechanisms to bring pressure to bear on those who violate such rights.
19. The cultural freedom that would be guaranteed by well recognized cultural rights is being claimed by individuals as well as by groups and communities. This does not mean challenging the primacy of individual human rights. Indeed the World Commission saw such freedom as a corollary of its commitment to pluralism. Yet collective claims to cultural rights have often been made at the expense of individual rights, in particular those of women. Since the emancipation of women has progressed primarily through the universal acceptance of individual rights, it is fundamental to include in the practice of pluralism the corrective principle of equality. For "cultural rights are, no less than other human rights, an expression and requirement of human dignity" and their recognition and exercise are vital with a view to "protecting and promoting cultural identities and fostering the expression of different cultures and intercultural dialogue in democratic societies." Indeed, human rights are inherent to each individual human being and the right to retain and nurture her or his cultural identity must also be given to each unique human being. How then to ensure that cultural freedom provides additional protection for individual freedom and that the affirmation of cultural rights is a constructive rather than a divisive force within and between societies?
Some key issues
20. In the 50th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, cultural rights are widely perceived as not yet mature. When the content of the 1948 Universal Declaration was transferred to treaty-binding provisions, the initial core group of cultural rights were separated from political and civil rights in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 27), which called for obligations of results on the part of states. This was interpreted by some to mean that these rights were programmatic, but not legal. Hence states would not have to face international scrutiny with regard to them. This interpretation has been increasingly challenged by legal experts, however, and the view that states could be held responsible for the failure to comply with the obligations listed in the ICESCR was reinforced by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its General Comment No. 3 (1990), which stressed that despite the obstacles which may exist, states are not released from such duties. More recently, the Committee has been working on an Optional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, with the support of many in the international legal community.
21. While some cultural rights have already been accepted as legal rights, others are still in development. Therefore monitoring and assessment procedures exist for some, but not for others. There are also problems with the notion of "cultural" since cultures are dynamic while rights must not be. Ideological tensions surround the notion, including those which surface when an individual's rights conflict with group rights. From the emphasis on access and participation taken up in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the panoply of cultural rights has been diversified by various normative instruments and policy declarations too numerous to name. Among UNESCOs first normative instruments were in fact the Convention (and Recommendation) against Discrimination in Education, which affirm the right to education as a key cultural right and are accompanied by implementation procedures and mechanisms such as the Executive Boards Committee on Conventions and Recommendations in Education. Individual and group access to cultural products and to the means of their dissemination, to freedom of creation, to protection of cultural identity and of cultural property, to education and to information, etc., have been added to the catalogue. Many such rights have been violated in quite visible ways. In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on the cultural identity of minorities such as Indigenous Peoples and a corresponding stress on the individuals right to identify or not with a community. While cultural rights are obviously rights to culture, it is not always obvious what to include under the term "culture" and what to exclude. Which rights are cultural rights and which are human rights that have cultural aspects?
22. However, as notions of cultural rights already exist, there is a need to shape the evolution of this emerging corpus and elevate its status, while continuing to honour basic principles of universal human rights law such as the obligation to respect and preserve the inherent dignity of every human being, or the principle of equality enshrined in non-discriminatory and equal opportunity clauses in such fields as gender, disability, religion and language. Should we not focus also on consolidating existing rights and on the careful research needed for the development of new rights that can eventually become clearly anchored in international law? As a number of cultural rights are already defined in international legal instruments, is it not imperative to assess how effectively such existing rights have been enforced? How can such enforcement be improved? What are the policy measures and practical steps which could be taken by governments and the international community to preserve cultural rights? Can an agenda for the further development of cultural rights be set, and, if so, what specific action is required?
1.3 Cultural heritage and cultural creativity
23. Although the World Commission dealt with cultural heritage and cultural creativity in separate chapters of its Report, the
perspectives it advocated on the two areas were complementary. In the Commissions view, approaches to the heritage were not diverse enough, leading to its under-utilization as a resource for creativity and development; at the same time the Commission underlined the transformed and transformative role of creativity in a rapidly changing world. Any cultural policy should envision the two domains in a dialectical relationship. In reality, however, they remain distinct, often under the responsibility of separate jurisdictions. They will also be discussed in separate sessions at the Stockholm Conference.
1.3a. Cultural heritage for development
24. The concept of cultural heritage has expanded considerably in recent years. This greatly increased popular attachment is based on an ever-increasing public awareness of the richness of the heritage as well as of its vulnerability. Today's information and communications technologies, together with tourism, now make it possible to respond better to this social demand. For heritage must be appropriated and made accessible in more imaginative ways, shared more widely within and between nations, used more creatively to re-invent a living culture -- which will soon be valued as the heritage of the future -- and last but not least, nurtured more wisely as an important source of income and employment. Yet today, the gap between ends and means is even larger; wars, natural disasters, urbanization and industrialization continue to jeopardize it; and its relationship with development has become increasingly complex.
25. This makes it even more important that States apply the legislative, administrative, technical and financial measures already defined to protect their heritage. This corpus of norms, largely elaborated by UNESCO itself, does not appear to need radical renewal. What is needed is its radical application. In particular, basic guidelines concerning the inventorying of the cultural heritage, the training of qualified personnel and the holistic management of heritage resources are still not adequately respected.
Some key issues
26. A better basis for broader understanding. If today's collective memory is to be shared more widely and moulded more creatively to form that of future generations, broader participation appears essential. But this will be possible only if people themselves understand their heritage better. Hence the paramount need for inventories of the heritage that are not only more complete but also more meaningful. As pointed out by the World Commission, the knowledge base for the elaboration of integrated conservation policy remains slight in many countries. Governments need to look more deeply at what society defines as heritage and build deeper awareness of its value. To do this it will be necessary to integrate research from the social sciences and the humanities, in particular from the field of history, by bringing universities, research institutes, and religious authorities into the picture and into constructive dialogue with antiquities departments and other "guardian" institutions, as well as with the media and education authorities. Each society is going to need to assess the nature and precariousness of its cultural as well as natural heritage in its own terms and determine the uses it wishes to make of both and the links it might build between them. Within nations, therefore, it is particularly important that this sort of heritage "mapping" exercise is carried out by and for all groups -- women, children, cultural minorities including Indigenous Peoples. Equally, the means to do this work need to be provided not just by the central organs of the state but also, perhaps above all, by municipalities and regions. The method employed should draw on current experience and new knowledge: not just to conserve, but also to establish meaningful connections between past and present.
27. Capacity building. Such connections will be ever more tenuous without trained personnel. Hence the priority given to inventorying in the broader sense outlined above must be accompanied by training that covers a whole spectrum of skills, ranging from the interpretation of meaning to hands-on conservation techniques. And it is at the level of techniques and technologies, knowledge and knowhow both traditional and contemporary, i.e. the building and arts crafts (les métiers dart; métiers du patrimoine) that the encounter with creativity can be made a reality. This is the urgent need that is now being met, for example, by the International Centre for the Promotion of Crafts established by UNESCO and the Government of Morocco in June 1995. If so much of the heritage has survived so long, this is because there have been traditional methods of maintenance and management that have marked centuries of custodianship in many different cultures. Indeed, the final link in the chain is heritage management, whether of a specific site or heritage area, or of depository institutions such as museums and archives. Can these linked elements be brought together under one policy vision, so that the key objective of rooting conservation in local realities can be brought closer and thus facilitate strategies that are financially viable in many more countries.
28. This emphasis on management would apply with equal force to the intangible heritage, the importance of which has not put down deep enough roots in policy-making, perhaps because oral traditions, languages, traditional performing arts, knowledge and knowhow (savoirs faire) are still living practices. But for how long? Their vulnerability is under-estimated; heritage conservation remains associated preponderantly with major historical monuments and sites. UNESCOs recently sharpened programme focus on the intangible heritage ought to help overcome this lag. National policy frameworks need themselves to lead the way. Here too there is a governmental responsibility with regard to public understanding. Even more markedly than for the built heritage, the immaterial rural-based heritage of yesterday has become, for the mass of urban dwellers that the world population is increasingly becoming, a kind of puzzle that needs to be reconstituted, a mass of fragmented knowledge whose strands need to be brought together. The weaving together of a new fabric of meaning for the cultural heritage is itself a challenge to our creativity.
29. Investing in the heritage. The heritage, whether tangible or intangible, is increasingly perceived and used as an economic resource. But as a non-renewable resource it is not always approached in the most equitable and sustainable way. As a development asset, it should help meet the needs of poor communities and broader society, as a form of cultural capital that can provide employment, generate income and mobilise communities to alleviate poverty. In historic city centres, the adaptive re-use of historic monuments has proved cost-effective and has helped rejuvenate the economic base; financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank are already investing significantly in this area. The challenge is to reconcile economic opportunities and conservation, by preserving neighbourhood life and the traditional urban fabric. This "cultural capital" should not be diminished, instead it should be replenished. This principle has often been flouted, mirroring other failures of "top down" approaches, which have resulted in a profound hiatus between ordinary civic life and official concern for the cultural past and, all too often, in uncontrolled private exploitation.
30. The role of tourism as a means to raise resources for heritage conservation and development in general is a core issue here. A recent UNESCO Round Table of experts recognized the great potential of tourism, but also warned that tourism has to be managed within a global strategy, one that puts mechanisms in place that allow the local population to obtain "economic advantages and a certain sense of satisfaction from any touristic development, in terms of jobs, income and self-pride. National or local authorities should make a profit in terms of direct and indirect taxation on heritage resources as well as in terms of image and international recognition." In the industrialized countries, the problem is similar, yet different: heritage has become a major component of mass culture, one in which tradition and the past have become, in the eyes of many, too much of "a commercialized plaything of the future... the product of new ways of commodifying our origins.... which has thus become one of the most important products on sale... If the global marketplace does indeed open up new opportunities for revitalizing and sharing the heritage there are concomitant risks involved; these can be minimized if public benefit can be given precedence over private interest.
1.3 b. Creativity and cultural industries
31. "Today", said the World Commission, "it is ever more necessary to cultivate human creativity, for in our climate of rapid change, individuals, communities and societies can adapt to the new and transform their reality only through creative imagination and initiative." This notion of creativity as a policy challenge fully recognizes aesthetic excellence and the individual act of creation, yet goes beyond both. While it encompasses "the essential contribution that can be made by the arts and artists to improving the quality of life, to the development of society..." reaffirmed by the 1997 World Congress on the Implementation of the Recommendation Concerning the Status of the Artist, it also considers creative activity to be a result of community experience and recognizes that the creative autonomy of the artist is henceforth constrained by market forces. Today, earning power or self-financing ability are perhaps as essential in enabling the arts to flourish as originality and innovation. The policy challenge for governments is how to play a more proactive yet less intrusive role in promoting such creativity. It is this new context which is driving governments to recast their role. They are now called upon to facilitate the development of the "content industries" and promote innovation in a wide range of technologies, as well as in industrial organization and the training and retraining of workers. How best can they do so? In yet broader terms, they are called upon to help channel creative action for citizens empowerment and participation, so that democracy can be strengthened, cities can be better built and managed and rural communities revitalized. In each of these areas governments are challenged to provide the conditions in which artists, cultural entrepreneurs and citizens may think, act and work creatively.
Some key issues
32. This altered context requires reconfigurations of governmental approaches. With regard to creativity, as in many other domains, there is the need to re-apportion responsibilities between the state, the private sector and the forces of civil society, both nationally and transnationally. A good starting point might be education, which can enhance or inhibit creativity, depending particularly on the prevalent instructional methods, curriculum and classroom culture. Languages, mathematics and science, if taught well, can encourage creativity as much as instruction in music and the arts. The cultural industries require massive investments, whether these are needed for innovation, distribution or marketing on a trans-national basis, for which governments cannot be expected to shoulder the primary responsibility. Governments can of course continue to grant scholarships and sponsor experiments and exchanges which are aesthetically and culturally valuable but produce little financial
return. But how can they stimulate and support large-scale projects? Does the mix of public-private initiatives provide a solution? Should the state define its main role as a promoter of the creativity that serves the cultural industries, rather than or as well as a custodian and supporter of the fine arts? What changes in official mentalities are required? How to persuade the private sector, especially in developing countries, that investment in creativity is a matter not just of profit but of broader social gain?
33. We also note the reconfiguration of local cultures through globalization and regional integration. Do policy-makers grasp the extent to which the intellectual property industries are organized on transnational lines -- digitalization, television channels, the production of films, discs and videos, opera company tours and music and drama groups are all cases in point -- while more traditional forms of art and craft production continue to express national cultures and to circulate mainly within their country of origin? Yet international cultural exchange is still regarded as an extension of foreign policy while in the cultural fields themselves there has been an important shift towards international networking (co-productions, joint exhibitions, conferences or festivals), which facilitates cost-sharing, economies of scale and international marketability. The internationalised market is reflected in increasing transfrontier cooperation among film distributors, broadcasting companies, publishers and the music industry.
34. Countries which have recognized the strategic importance of creation, copyright and the cultural industries and have given them adequate attention are privileged both in cultural and economic terms today, while nations which have neglected them are confronted with the uneasy alternative of being either overrun by foreign cultural products and contents -- which entails heavy royalty payments and a sense of cultural identity under threat -- or taking the protectionist route of closure. Associated with this dilemma is the important problem of the "brain drain" of artists and cultural workers. Thus the constitution of a European audiovisual space is a promising experiment to preserve specific cultural profiles from encroachment by powerful external audiovisual and communication systems, prevent cultural creativity from being watered down by transnational commercialization and also provide jobs and growth. The same is true of the emerging African film industry.
35. A third strategic issue is the increasing economic impact of creative activities. The arts and culture serve as a main source of contents for the cultural industries, they create jobs and contribute significantly to GDP, ranging for example from 0.8 to 3 per cent in the European Union countries. They have a direct and indirect multiplier effect at the local level. In other words, they have become "a free factor of production". They have become an even more important source of income generation and skills development in countries where work opportunities are limited or have been disrupted, for example in Peru, Lebanon, or South Africa, even parts of the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Unlike many industries, those focusing on individual and small business creativity can provide important components in development strategies which are also environmentally acceptable.
36. The harnessing of creativity as a force in improving social relations is another key issue. Many forms of cultural expression have long being used in development programmes to strengthen group identity and a sense of community, to raise awareness of social injustice and other challenges, to foster democratic discourse and social mediation. Today, as the forces of exclusion and intolerance are once again on the rise, creativity is ever more essential if individuals and communities are to reconstruct the ways they live together and search for a new convivencia, both locally and globally, as a key challenge of sustainable human development for the twenty-first century.
1.4 Culture, Children and Young People
37. Children in the majority of countries are or will soon be more numerous than adults; 40% of the population in developing countries is under 15 years old as opposed to 20% in the industrially developed. These numbers alone are reason enough to reflect upon our responsibilities towards them and address their needs more determinedly. But the task of identifying the problems facing children today, as well as those likely to face them in their adult life, and formulating appropriate policies for this purpose is an increasingly uphill one because of rapid social and technological change. Some of the most urgent questions concern the protection of children against exploitation and neglect and ensuring their economic inclusion, educational needs and cultural participation. When children become young adults, the issues change to some degree. Today, in a number of industrialized countries, young people are not just consumers but also producers of values, goods and services. They are often potentially better equipped than their elders to shape the changing and plural cultural landscape. But are young people everywhere being given sufficient opportunities to be "social pioneers" for the world of tomorrow?
Some key issues
38. The World Commission considered children to be our most precious resource. This awareness underpins the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and enjoins us to go beyond paternalism towards children -- as summarized in the headline of the French daily Le monde, the day after the adoption of the Convention: De lamour vers le respect (From love to respect). The Convention enshrines the notion of childrens rights. These range from the right to education on the basis of equal opportunity, to a school regime that respects the childs human dignity, to children's rights to leisure and recreation which ensure their development and self-determination, preparing them for responsible life in a free society.
39. Preparing children for a responsible life in a global society is fraught with many challenges. How can children be provided with the knowledge and skills -- cognitive as well as communicative -- they will need in a world where urban lifestyles predominate, where the labour market is ever more mobile and competitive and in which life-long learning will be indispensable? The first issue many states must resolve is providing schooling for all children, particularly for girls, as their education will lead to important social development benefits such as reduced child mortality, falling birth rates, less child labour and increased gender equality. The primary goal of schooling should be to develop children's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential, respecting their cultural identity, language and values. The creative energies of children, so necessary for cultural development, are still under-utilized. To harness their creativity, we need creative schools -- in which the arts, together with the three Rs (i.e., reading, writing and arithmetic) are viewed as basic skills. Around the world, schools have established special courses of study in the arts; specialized schools for gifted children also exist. But creativity must be conceived as a general capacity to be nurtured throughout the compulsory curriculum.
40. The World Commission also called on schools to be more active in encouraging respect for the diversity of cultures. Hence the need for multilingualism from the earliest age, starting with the mother tongue and including initiation to the plurality of cultures and beliefs. The teaching of history and geography should also introduce pupils to all the actors of history, to the encounters between cultural traditions, and to interdisciplinary approaches. Textbooks should be produced that foster cultural sensitivity and create awareness of shared values and a common vision of the future. An educational system which addresses simultaneously the requirements of global and national integration and the specific needs of particular culturally distinct communities will lead to an awareness of diversity and respect for others.
41. The ability to read and write is the basis of all communicative skills. Imaginative writing is crucial for the development of creativity and successful social participation. In order to encourage children to read and achieve functional literacy, it is necessary above all to have access to good books from all over the world in their mother tongue. Children from ethnic minorities and immigrant and refugee communities also have the right to books in their languages. Libraries too have an increasingly important role in children's and young people's lives, as underlined in UNESCOs Library Manifesto of 1994. They provide breathing space for many children in a hard and crowded existence. They are often the only non-commercialized meeting places and cultural centres accessible to children.
42. The Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms the basic right of children to express their opinions and their right to be heard via the mass media. It has also maintained their basic right to receive material of quality appropriate to diverse linguistic and ethnic needs and to be safeguarded from violence and pornography. Research data on children and violence in the media has been available since 1996 at UNESCO's International Clearinghouse on Children and Violence on the Screen. In this
connection, voluntary commitments are being made by television companies on guidelines for the choice of programmes and broadcasting times; and internationally, the media are also attempting to develop broadly applicable guidelines. Children have a major stake in the heritage and natural environment also, as inheritors and future guardians, and an awareness of this dual role needs to be reinforced at an early age. It is important to give children access to and understanding of their heritage and natural environment at school, through libraries and museums, and of course through the Internet.
43. With regard to young people, the issues go beyond education alone. "Youth culture" is a key component of their sense of self and anchors their identity. It is internationalist and pluralist in spirit, readily accepting inter-cultural fusion, particularly in domains such as music and the arts. In the industrially developed countries, the expanding youth-oriented consumer culture is genuinely diverse, reflects many of their concerns and interests, but often has the perverse effect of making the traditional past seem irrelevant and contributes to weakening the ties between the generations. Rising generations have always explored opposing values to those held by their parents but today, although young people may well be just as or even more aware than their parents of the issues facing society as a whole, their sense of engagement as social actors needs to be reinforced. At the same time, the status they enjoy as cultural consumers is not matched by a corresponding "voice" in cultural decision-making. In many contexts, young people lack even consumer power or are among the most hit by exclusion and unemployment. It is in such settings that the appeal of fundamentalist intolerance, extremist sects and the like is the strongest. And it is precisely in situations such as these that culture can help young people reject violence and be a vector of job and income creation. A number of success stories in community work involving cultural activities for marginalized young people, particularly in urban settings, have shown how powerful their energies can be, if they are effectively mobilized. But in most countries there is little co-ordination between cultural policy and goals pursued by the authorities responsible for youth and sport.
2. The Challenges of Recasting Cultural Policies
2.1 Improving research and international co-operation for cultural policy
44. In order for culture to be brought "in from the margins" and to the centre of policy-making, political will needs to be mobilized. But, as pointed out in Our Creative Diversity, cultural policy-making is sorely lacking in reliable comparative data. Although work in areas such as cultural participation and consumption has been considerable in some countries, it does not inform the linkages between cultural policy and development. Cultural policy as a field lacks both conceptual clarity and adequate indicators. Nor does it yet have sufficient "reach" when it comes to issues such as democracy, human rights and social cohesion. Therefore new knowledge is a precondition for progress in policy-making.
45. In which fields should data be collected and analysed? What sorts of research findings can help make cultural policy more effective? Such questions, however, would be purely rhetorical until and unless the importance of research is better recognized. It is for this reason that the issue of research in and for cultural policy is proposed as the principal focus for discussion at Stockholm, rather than the broader question of cultural policy formulation itself, its methods and its expanding horizons.16 In an inter-connected world, cross-cultural research is also a priority for a better informed policy for co-operation at the international level. Without such cross-cultural co-operation it will not be easy to muster the international arguments needed to push culture to centre stage on the global agenda.
16 Tony Bennett and Collin Mercer, "Improving Research and International Co-operation for Cultural Policy", a preparatory paper for the Stockholm Conference (Document CLT-98/Conf.210/Ref. 6).
Some key issues
46. To analyse how cultural policy objectives can be oriented towards development, five sets of domains would need to be taken into account: government policies at various levels; the policies of cultural institutions; education policies; the policies of the institutions of civil society and policies relating to cultural participation and consumption. In order to deal with the issues identified above and to cover the different levels at which they arise, the following four priority areas may be suggested:
47. Access to cultural resources: Who and how many are excluded from the international circulation of cultural goods? What is the extent of cultural diversity in production and distribution? Who has or does not have access to the technologies of cultural production and distribution? Are there other cultural resources which should be the focus of public goods arguments? What is the role of gender in ensuring equal access to cultural resources?
48. Citizenship and public culture: How are publicly-funded cultural institutions governed and administered? What is the impact of regulatory and fiscal action by governments? What is the role of civil society bodies in promoting civic involvement? How can the power of culture and creativity be more widely shared in society?
48. Legal/cultural interfaces: national and international legal regimes that convert cultural products into cultural properties; the moral rights of creators as individuals; ways of extending these to communities, indigenous peoples in particular; mediating between traditional and western systems of intellectual property; issues of cultural ownership; legal provisions regarding the classification of cultural materials; the relationship between international trade, investment and the treatment of culture. In an era of technological convergence between "electronic commerce" and the cultural industries, what new legal tools are required?
49. Culture and community development: What are the best systems of government support designed to foster the maintenance and development of the cultural identities and practices of different communities?
50. Meaningful indices for culture and development that can help set targets at local, national and international levels need to be developed and deployed. They need to be based on the exchange of information between governments, the cultural industries sector and civil society. They also need to be sought and applied in contexts where the widest possible range of stakeholders can be involved. For example, co-operation between the academic, governmental, community, industry and creative sectors ought to be promoted. But the mechanisms and concepts required to establish fruitful new relations are still missing. Would it not be advisable, therefore, to identify domains that offer a methodology, a range of incentives and a relatively common lexicon, while respecting the specificity of national and regional cultural systems? The academic sector often has the competencies in the application and refinement of conceptual frameworks and methodologies; the community sector often has the necessary "local knowledge"; the industry and government sectors have the powers and resources for policy implementation greater than those of other actors.
51. One of the approaches that respond to the international context of the new communications technologies and provide a linking rationale between the four areas for research proposed above is the identification and recording of an areas cultural resources and practices, including intangibles such as sense of place and social value.
52. It has also been pointed out that hitherto cultural policy research, framed largely within the European aesthetic tradition, has tended to steer clear of economic and industry analyses except where, as in "economic benefits of the arts" arguments, it has been able to demonstrate the economic potential of cultural activities in addition to their intrinsic merits. In the 1970s, however, the French analyst Augustin Girard was already arguing for the rediscovery of the "forgotten cultural industries" at the heart of contemporary cultural policy. He stressed the importance of "industrial cultural products" in providing the largest number of people with access to culture and creativity: and this included the means of dissemination such as radio, television, record and audio cassette players, etc. Yet cultural policy seemed to be exclusively concerned with the point of production -- institutions and creators -- not with the means of dissemination. In the context of todays cultural industries, this lacuna is particularly serious. It is also important to take into account the processes of marketing, distribution and audience development.
53. International co-operation: culture in the new rules of the game. There is also a need, regionally and internationally, for comparative reviews of policy. Beyond research, what elements might make up a new international agenda in cultural policy? Certain permanent mechanisms might be called for, such as a programme (e.g. the MOST Programme) or an entity (e.g. UNRISD or the United Nations University) that, in addition to research, operates in a cross-sectoral and inter-agency manner to link ministries, institutes and networks together worldwide. An alternative would be the regular periodical organization of an inter-regional forum on cultural policies. Finally, as the dynamics of international co-operation in culture and the arts have been transformed in recent years, there is also a need for joint explorations and co-productions that produce tangible economic benefits as well as artistic value added: the exchange of creative ideas, the stimulation of creative growth and professional development, the enriching of audience experience and greater programme variety at venues and festivals.
54. Today, there are three challenging issues. First, the international language of trade and commerce increasingly supersedes the language of culture. Secondly, multilateral institutions which have no cultural mandate are establishing policy frameworks that affect culture. Thirdly, cultural policy thinking has little influence on public sphere issues that go beyond the traditional "arts" domains. As a result, it has proved difficult to go from declarations to practice with regard to the promotion of cultural diversity, e.g. the 1995 G-7 Information Summit. As economic globalization and technological convergence will not wait, how can cultural priorities be rightfully asserted in international relations? How can the language and the values of culture impact on international rule-making dominated to a large extent by the marketplace? It is vital to make decision-makers and parliamentarians understand that cultural diversity is an immense asset and that investments in preserving it are bound to be beneficial.
55. The gender dimension. Why is it, that even today, women artists remain largely invisible? Is it because women's work is of lesser value than mens? The fact is that, over the centuries both encouragement and incentives for women artists has been lacking. The potential of women artists has not been recognized. Recent incentive policies have let to an impressive record of female artistic achievement. Women are now rising increasingly higher as cultural producers, both in the visual arts and in music, literature and other areas. Since discrimination and lack of training remain formidable obstacles in many countries there is a need therefore to pay special attention to the promotion of avenues for women to express their creativity, gain access to cultural institutions, the market and international exchange. This implies, inter alia, the collection, exchange and dissemination of information on the status of female creators, artists and cultural producers, a monitoring process that should be accompanied by comparative research on legislation in this domain.
2.2. Mobilising resources for cultural activities
56. Not even the best informed and most enlightened cultural policy can be implemented unless there are sufficient funds to do so. But the lack thereof is a challenge everywhere as national cultural budgets stagnate and even decline. The situation is especially serious in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and in developing countries coping with the rigours of structural and economic adjustment. Scarce resources for culture have led everywhere to greater rigour in evaluating the benefits of cultural expenditures and greater emphasis on setting stricter priorities. The situation has bolstered arguments for the tighter management of cultural institutions, whether the debate revolves around the deficits of major opera houses in Europes capital cities or radical reductions in the budgets of ministries of culture in many developing countries. Against this backdrop, there is still insufficient awareness of the investment potential of culture, as mentioned already under sections 1.3 and 2.1 above. The World Commission on Culture and Development stressed the need for innovative ways of pooling resources between government, the private sector and civil society. But support for culture can also be a good investment. The importance of the cultural industries as factors of development has only begun to be recognized. The new awareness has not yet led to the corresponding resources. This is partly because comprehensive policies for cultural funding are yet to be worked out. It is also due to the persistent notion that the arts and arts spending are frills and luxuries, purely a drain on the economy.17 Also missing is a recognition of the fact that policies in favour of culture could and should have implications for budget allocations,
import/export duties and taxation in fields such as education, youth and sport, womens affairs, community development, etc.
Some key issues
57. How can governments mobilize public resources for cultural spending when their policies in this area are so uncoordinated? Few governments deal in an integrated fashion with the diverse resources devoted by different ministries to cultural spending. The imbalance in the allocation of public resources between cities and provinces far away from the centres of power is also common. Consequently, regional and local governments must be persuaded to increase their spending on culture and also involve local non-profit organizations in the financing of cultural activities. What really matters nationally is the political will and its translation into budgetary terms; and internationally, what is required is the support of development institutions such as the UNDP, the World Bank and regional banks.
58. It would be unrealistic to believe that a case can be made for special treatment of the culture sector alone. Government cannot be its only source of support. Encouraging foundations, professional groups, trade unions, etc., to support cultural activities implies providing them with fiscal incentives; governments are already seeking to identify and implement fiscal mechanisms, financing strategies and policy stances that do so. Progress in this area has tended to be rather slow, particularly where policy-makers themselves are inherently mistrustful of the private sector, or totally ignorant of its ways. It is important to hasten the passing of legislation that accords special privileges to non-profit organizations, including tax deductibility of charitable donations and other benefits such as reduced postal rates and income taxes. The role of individual giving and volunteering should not be underestimated. Small donations of money and time from ordinary people constitute the largest source of private giving in the United States of America and are in fact quite considerable in a number of European countries. As a form of people's participation, individual giving is essential in bringing arts and culture into the mainstream. Could it not be developed throughout the world?
59. Cultural projects and institutions are frequently dependent on short term grants. More efficient and stable systems of support need to be developed. The introduction of private management of cultural activities and programmes has proved to be successful in some instances and should be considered as a viable option. Whether in the public or the private sector, there is an urgent need to train cultural managers who can define their goals and objectives more precisely, market their products more effectively and make their endeavours more accountable through performance measurement and efficiency evaluation.
60. The culture-based content industries are swiftly becoming major components in many economies, growing faster than other sectors and providing a larger number of jobs. Public expenditure can provide effective seed money to stimulate private sector investment in these areas. Their importance should in fact lead governments to treat such expenditures as investment rather than subsidy. This would change the nature of the relationship that exists between art and industry.
2.3 The role of the media in cultural policies
61. The World Commission on Culture and Development has emphasized the transformations in the world of the media, characterized today by a broader range of choices, the opening of new horizons leading to grater diversity and enhanced information flow. At the same time we are witnessing a concentration in control of media ownership homogenization of content and limitation of access. In view of the scope and difficulty of these questions, which the international community is already working to resolve, it has been proposed that the debate at the Stockholm Conference should focus on certain aspects of the vast challenge to governments, namely the cultural and educational mission of public service media. Culture and the media are inextricably bound together: the media reflect images of ourselves and our acts. We are bombarded by images and word every day, and we possess a myriad of tools which allow us to communicate. In much of the world television has become the primary vehicle for culture. All cultural policies must accordingly take into account the impact and importance of the media. How
can we ensure that in every country, the media provide diversified programmes which not only promote a shared national identity but also give pluralistic expression to the variety of social, political and cultural values? How can we satisfy different needs and interests? Public radio and television, services which are editorially independent and free of political or commercial constraints are instruments for consolidating democracy. How can we reaffirm and reinforce the educational and cultural role of public broadcasting?
Some key issues
62. The public service needs to adapt to the enormous changes in the sphere of communication by integrating certain cultural, political and ethical values and thus redefining itself as pluralistic, diversified, innovative and open to the new media. Public television is television in the service of democracy, managed without interference from political, economic and religious authorities. Editorial independence is imperative and diversity and pluralism must be guaranteed, as they alone can ensure balanced access to the country's political and social movements and the expression of diverse beliefs and currents of thought, even those with only minority support. These are the keys to the identity of the public service and the way to combat the standardization of programmes resulting from the globalization of networks and images.
63. The new communications networks offer ample opportunities for the distribution of training and educational programmes. Access to these specialised networks should be considered as a basic service. This implies the support, including the financial support and safeguarding measures by the authorities whose first task, the audiovisual field, is to establish a suitable regulatory framework guaranteeing the pluralism of ideas and beliefs and ensuring fair healthy competition in the communication market.18
2.4 Culture and the new media technologies
The Challenges: opportunities and risks
64. As the Internet becomes a worldwide phenomenon, with over 60 million users and almost 20 million hosts, never before has so much information been so readily and so instantaneously available. The new information and communications technologies inspire original creative forms and provide new contexts for social relations, work and consumption patterns. They broaden the ways people learn, think and communicate. They allow one-to-one and "one-to-many" interactions, freeing information exchange from conventional forms of censorship. They empower people and hold out the promise of democratic, interactive, participatory communication.
65. So much for the opportunities. But when will they be equally available to all? Will they be effective instruments for the dissemination of cultural products and ideas within each nation and across the world? The core challenge is to build a global information society and knowledge economy that is accessible to and built by all.
66. The current trends of technological convergence, economic liberalization and international trade give public policy concerns in the cultural area very limited space. Most of the deliberations in forums such as the OCDE, APEC, WTO or NAFTA deal with the issues in purely commercial terms. We are at a turning point for public policy. National governments cannot tackle these questions alone. The ethical, legal and societal issues raised obviously transcend the prevailing "international electronic commerce" approach and touch upon key cultural questions such as cultural and linguistic diversity, freedom of expression, the right to access, the right to content, intellectual property rights and the fate of domestic cultural industries in the global economy.
Some key issues
67. Access and participation. Many countries are increasingly marginalized as a result of factors such as economies of scale, lack of national strategies, inadequate infrastructures and insufficient demand. Certain groups of activists in the more privileged countries are ensuring the circulation of works and ideas from technologically disadvantaged countries. Some enlightened corporations are investing massively in implanting media infrastructures in the latter. What measures might government adopt to reinforce and complement these civil society and private sector initiatives? Powerful concepts are emerging from alternative grassroots structures which tend to involve a broader range of people than large institutions (in terms of gender, ethnic origin, professional background, etc). At the same time, there are the socially disconnected, excluded groups, "cyberghettos", the marginalized dissident voices of young programmers and designers.
68. Education and training are also important access-related issues. Computer and media literacy are vital in order to head off the emergence of a permanently excluded information underclass and to raise a generation of young users. Many would consider this to be as true in fragile and under-resourced school systems as in developed and complex ones, since only a better understanding of the communication process can help the future citizens of a global world to form their own opinions and critical faculties concerning both the best and the worst in cyberspace content.
69. Content. The logic of electronic commerce and technological development is such that the whole system has to be interoperable and interconnectable. But the imperatives of cultural policy requires us to ask how different cultures and peoples are able to see themselves reflected in the cyberspace? Should we accept the idea of a homogenized market strategy? How can we formulate approaches to build in diversity instead? What kind of measures are required? Despite the current imbalances, the infrastructure is essentially in place, what is lacking is original local content expressing new forms of creativity and local interests. If we want plurality on the global information highway, national strategies and a new approach to regulatory frameworks to support and develop domestic content need to be devised. This should be coupled with new ways of dealing with intellectual property rights, and therefore with the progressive development of international cyberspace law.
70. Copyright and intellectual rights. Digitalization questions the very basis upon which copyright and intellectual rights are built. At the same time, both intellectual rights and copyright will becomethe main mechanism to ensure fair compensation for the creative process in an open global economy.19 The challenge in a digital world is to determine ways in which revenue flows can go back to creators so that creativity is sustained. Another aspect is the digital "colonization" of the holdings of museums and other heritage institutions which are rightly considered to be the shared legacy -- the public domain -- of humankind. How can such practices be checked and principles be established for this purpose?