Ministry of Culture and Youth highlights UAE’s best cultural policies in UNESCO’s G20 webinars

ABU DHABI, 19th May 2023 (WAM) — The Ministry of Culture and Youth participated in webinars held between March and April 2023 under the G20 Culture Working Group. Organised by UNESCO, a knowledge partner of the Indian Presidency’s Culture Working Group, the webinars presented the UAE’s interventions on four culture-related priorities in the run-up to the ministerial meeting to be held in August this year. The Ministry’s representatives spoke extensively about the Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property; Harnessing Living Heritage for Sustainable Living; Promotion of Cultural Industries and Creative Industries and Creative Economy; and Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and Promotion of Culture. In a statement outlining the gaps and challenges in relevant areas, the spokespersons discussed with other participating countries and international organisations and recommended solutions and best practices to harness the power of heritage, culture and creativity. The Ministry’s representatives reiterated the value of creating a G20 Culture Working Group Taskforce and the importance of global collaboration to enhance capacities and awareness to contribute to tackling illicit trafficking. They also highlighted the best practices adopted by the UAE, such as creating cultural databases and using technology to map archaeological sites and monuments. The intervention highlighted the importance of capacity building, raising awareness among civil society in protecting valuable heritage, the impact of climate change on heritage sites and cultural assets and multilateral cooperation to mitigate these challenges. The second intervention focused on the role of living and natural heritage in advancing Sustainable Development Goals and how the UAE balances traditional practices with contemporary art and design. It also highlighted how the UAE is mainstreaming culture as a significant part of education, making it a key theme in critical global discussions such as COP28. The third intervention dealt with the creative economy and how the UAE developed its cultural and creative industries as significant contributors to the national GDP. The spokespersons shed light on the 10-year National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries and informed the G20 about the UAE’s policy action for capacity building and nurturing talent as the core of the cultural and creative industries. They also shared insights on mitigating ongoing crises in the field and how these industries could contribute to the sustainability agenda in the long term. Lastly, the UAE emphasised leveraging technological benefits for inclusivity and accessibility. As a strong proponent of the digitalisation of culture, the UAE stands for making cultural and heritage experiences affordable and accessible to all. The nation also advocates digital data preservation of culture and heritage both regionally and globally. They also discussed the ethical use of technology in the cultural realm and the importance of protecting digital assets from cyber theft. Commenting on the UAE’s participation in the G20 webinars, Mubarak Al Nakhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, said, “I thank the Indian Presidency and the G20 for giving us an opportunity to share insights about our cultural journey. Our participation in these critical discussions with the G20 members is testimony to the UAE’s growing role as a global cultural player. Our leadership has been promoting culture as a significant vehicle in our drive to achieve sustainable development. “I would like to commend the Ministry of Culture and Youth representatives who participated in the discussions and highlighted the UAE’s policies to mainstream culture as an engine of our economic growth. Such multilateral engagements are significant platforms to share knowledge and experiences, and the UAE will continue to contribute to these discussions in the future too.” The Culture Working Group’s meetings to discuss priorities and key actionable areas will lead up to the G20 culture ministerial meeting on 23rd August 2023, which will eventually feed into the 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit to be held on 9th-10th September 2023.

Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)

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