The Civil Society Forum (31 May) is a biennial event that enables civil society actors active in the protection and promotion of a diversity of cultural expressions to coordinate their activities and engage with the governing bodies of the 2005 Convention.

During the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, IFLA has been active in deepening our work with the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of a Diversity of Cultural Expressions. See our Get into Guide here for more.

The Civil Society Forum is coordinated by civil society actors themselves and provides an opportunity for many different types of organisations and stakeholders to voice their priorities.  Through this Forum, civil society can provide proposals to the Conference of the Parties on priorities that that they would like to see reflected in the work of the Convention’s governing bodies.

IFLA will play an active part in this year’s Forum – working to ensure the role of libraries as enablers of environments where diverse cultural expressions are encouraged, valued, shared, and protected. See our recent blog article for World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development for more examples of how libraries have an impact.

Third Civil Society Forum Themes

This year’s Forum will contain four breakout sessions, during which participants will discuss priorities on critical topics relating to cultural diversity.

An IFLA representative will moderate the breakout session on the topic, Culture and sustainable developmentbuilding off the work of IFLA and partners towards upholding culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development.

IFLA is also involved in conversations on the topic, Digital environment, rights, and trade, upholding the importance of meaningful access to information in both the creation of and access to cultural expressions.


The outcome of this Forum includes elaboration of a set of recommendations to inform the future work plan of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

IFLA’s goal is to ensure the formulation of these recommendations includes the perspective of the global library field. This will impact our longer-term goal of enabling greater recognition and potential cooperation regarding the role of libraries in preserving and promoting diverse cultural expressions.

For more information and the full programme of the Forum, visit the UNESCO Diversity of Cultural Expressions website: Third Civil Society Forum.