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Culture in the implementation of the 2030 agenda

Four years after the adoption of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, a new report, coordinated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), with the support of various organizations, including the IFCCD, reviews progress made in ensuring the place of culture at the heart of development policies.

Through a comprehensive analysis of Voluntary National Reviews (of countries) and Voluntary Local Reviews (of cities), it highlights great examples of governments that give culture the attention it deserves.

Yet it underlines that the challenge now is to generalize this good practice. To this end, the report makes a number of recommendations both to the culture sector itself, and to Member States. At the head will be a revitalized campaign – #culture2030goal. Watch this space!

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Read the article “Cultural policies for sustainable development: four strategic paths”

IFCCD 2019 Report on Civil Society Activities

IFCCD members actively participated in the preparation of the report of civil society organizations, submitted in December 2017. On occasion, a questionnaire collected contributions from about 70 civil society organizations in the fall of 2017.

Barely a year later, the IFCCD considers that this report is still relevant. Moreover, since the IFCCD adopted an ambitious action plan at the Montreal Congress in October 2018, and given the tight deadlines for the production of the 2019 report, this report is intended to complement the 2017 report and to complement rather than replace the recommendations already made.

It should also be noted that to date, there has been no formal response to the thirteen key recommendations of the first report. Nor is there a process in place for feedback from the parties, which we will discuss later.

In this IFCCD report, we will focus on topics that were not specifically recommended in the 2017 report. We will also revisit the recommendations of the 2017 report on topics that are priorities for the IFCCD and its members.

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Culture, platforms and machines: the impact of artificial intelligence on the diversity of cultural expressions

Report by Mr Kulesz for the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help to empower numerous creators, make the cultural industries more efficient and increase the number of artworks, which is in the interest of the public.

However, there are still very few artists and entrepreneurs that know how to use tools such as machine learning. In addition, the commercial logic of the large platforms may lead to increasing concentration of supply, data and income and to the impoverishment of cultural expressions in the long term.

In a tech world dominated by the United States and China –and to a lesser extent by Europe, Israel, Canada, Japan and the Republic of Korea –there is a risk of fomenting a new creative divide, which would result in the increasing decline of developing countries.

The lack of inclusion of culture in national AI strategies –in both the North and South –could mean that countries no longer have any cultural expressions of their own, which would end up damaging the social fabric.

It will be essential to develop strategies that go beyond a merely abstract code of ethics and design public policies to ensure that AI systems –and the actors that exploit them –are auditable and accountable.

Far from settling for a marginal role in the discussions on AI, the creative sector must claim its place with greater vigour.

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Operational guidelines on the implementation of the Convention in the digital environment

Operational guidelines on the implementation of the Convention in the digital environment approved by the Conference of Parties at its sixth session (Paris, 12-15 June 2017)

These guidelines provide a strategic framework for understanding, interpreting and implementing the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in a digital environment where cultural goods and services are created, produced, distributed, disseminated, consumed and/or stored electronically.

The distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning does not change in the digital environment. Consequently, the recognition of the dual nature of cultural goods and services (cultural and economic) is also applicable to cultural expressions in the digital environment or those produced with digital tools.

The accelerated expansion of social networks and user generated content (UGC), the explosion of data, the complexity of distribution models, and the proliferation of connected multimedia devices in the hands of the users have had a huge impact on the creative sector in all parts of the world. Technological changes have also led to the emergence of new players and new logics, and will continue to provide new challenges and opportunities to promote the diversity of cultural expressions and, in particular, to design relevant public policies.

Recalling that technological neutrality is affirmed as a principle in the Convention, these guidelines shall be interpreted and applied in relation to the Convention as a whole, thus promoting a transversal approach to the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment. They complement all relevant provisions of the Convention and existing guidelines that refer to digital issues and new information and communication technologies.

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