The Culture 2030 Goal campaign, of which IFLA is a member, has urged UNESCO Member States to make good on their commitment to promote an explicit culture goal in future development frameworks, as made in the declaration from MONDIACULT 2022. The campaign’s zero-draft for a culture goal provides an excellent starting point. 

First page of the Culture 2030 Goal Statement post-MONDIACULTToo often, the role of culture is underestimated in the achievement of major development goals. Yet it has a decisive contribution to make, not just through the direct work of cultural actors and institutions such as libraries, but also through the insights it provides into how to design and deliver policy.

Given that so many aspects of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals depend on changes in behaviour at the level of individuals, understanding and working with cultural factors is indispensable for policy effectiveness in other areas.

However, a major flaw in the Agenda is its failure to recognise this role meaningfully, with only tangential references rather than a dedicated goal that would ensure culture receives the priority it needs.

Amongst the key goals of IFLA’s participation at the MONDIACULT 2022 conference in Mexico City was therefore to work with other global cultural networks to build the case for such a goal in any future development frameworks. This focus would also draw attention to how culture can be mobilised to support achievement of the SDGs today. To support this, we produced a zero draft of a potential future culture goal, based on global inputs (including many librarians!)

As underlined in our news story from MONDIACULT, we were successful in this call.

The focus now, therefore, must be on following up. A statement recently released by the campaign underlines gratitude to Member States for their call for an explicit culture goal, and urges them not to lose the momentum.

In particular, it underlines that the zero draft offers a great basis for discussions around how the public good that is culture can be better protected, supported, and helped to realise its potential to drive development.

We will be working with our partners in the coming weeks to define a programme of work for 2023, including opportnities to hold workshops at the national level to work with the zero draft to deepen reflection on how to integrate culture into development policy, as well as to provide input into a future edition