Today, the Culture2030Goal campaign (also known as #Culture2030Goal) which unites a group of global cultural networks, launched a zero-draft of a potential development goal focused on culture.

With no explicit focus on culture in the UN 2030 Agenda, opportunities to mobilise the cultural sector, to draw on its reach, insights and energy to accelerate development are being missed. Yet such mobilisation is all the more essential, given the long and difficult road left to travel to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The seven international organisations behind the Culture2030Goal campaign – United Cities and Local Governments’ Culture Committee, the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Music Council (IMC), the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), Arterial Network, Culture Action Europe (CAE) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) – are committed to rectifying this situation, now and in future.

In the short term, this passes through closer engagement of the cultural sector in policy planning and implementation. The campaign has welcomed the MONDIACULT 2022 conference, and its focus on sustainable development, and hopes that it can still fulfill its potential to transform the way we think about cultural policy.

Yet in the longer term only an explicit culture goal, agreed at the highest level, can deliver the profile and focus needed. With the halfway point in the 2030 Agenda imminent, and key UN meetings in 2023 which are likely to shape the run-up to the post-2030 Agenda, it is time to reflect on what this could look like.

The proposal launched today does just this, drawing on an international survey of cultural decision-makers, practitioners and influencers. It is designed to be the start of a process, stimulating debate both around the need for such a Goal, and its potential content and form.

The campaign looks forward to engaging with friends and colleagues around the world in the coming months to build on the existing draft and advocate for culture to be a concrete Goal within sustainable development strategies.

“Culture as a pillar is the only choice for societies that are deeply rooted in their traditions, while striving for development. If growth, peace and environmental balance are to be achieved, people’s Culture must officially play a fundamental role, for you cannot change people’s lives for peace and equality by exclusion. People and their systems of references must be part of the process.”

— Amelia Mel Mezinhe, Vice President, Arterial Network

“The centrality of cultural perspectives is missing in the SDGs as a whole, which must be a cultural project in order to be engaging and meaningful for everyone”

— Tere Badia, Secretary General, Culture Action Europe

“Although heritage is identifed as having a key role in the Sustainable Development Goals with its own target, heritage is part of Culture which needs to be recognised as an important part of people’s identity and well-being. Mondiacult 2022 is a strong foundation to start the critical steps to ensure that a Culture goal is included in the post-2030 Agenda.”

— Gabriel Caballero, SDG Focal Point, International Council for Monuments and Sites, ICOMOS

“We would like to emphasize that the climate emergency affects all sectors of activity, just as all sectors of activity impact on nature and the climate. The mobilization of society through culture is essential to help us understand this and to guard against a loss of diversity of cultural expressions.”

Beat Santschi, President of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity – IFCCD

“2015 was arguably a big missed opportunity to highlight the role of culture and cultural rights guarantors such as libraries in accelerating truly sustainable development. With this zero-draft, I look forward to engaging with libraries, our partners and policy makers to put this right, both in the remaining years of the 2030 agenda and beyond.”

— Barbara Lison, President, 2021-23, International Federation of Libraries Associations – IFLA

“The rights-based approach of the campaign’s zero draft for a Culture Goal echoes the values of the International Music Council, which are embedded in our Five Music Rights. The ten potential targets are fully in line with our vision of a world where everyone can learn, experience, create, perform and express themselves freely through music and where musical artists are recognised and fairly remunerated. We strongly believe that if we want the potential of culture to contribute to sustainable development to be fully realised, a specific goal for culture in its own right must be anchored in future development frameworks.”

— Alfons Karabuda, President of the International Music Council – IMC

“The Culture Goal brings the opportunity to discuss the meaning of development. Cultural policies, which include heritage, creativity, diversity and knowledge, are essential components of this discussion. Our Common Future needs a Culture Goal.”

— Jordi Pascual, Coordinator, UCLG Committee on Culture


Access this press release as a pdf in English, French and Spanish.