High-level Event on Culture and Sustainable Development

On 21 May 2018, the President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, organized a high-level event on Culture and Sustainable Development in the ECOSOC Chamber from 10 am to 6pm. The event featured an opening segment, a roundtable, two panel discussions and a closing segment.

Panel I on Culture and Education, focused on the culture and education nexus as a key to social change, and a catalyst for achieving most of the SDGs when curricula are adapted to local environments. The panel had the participation of an indigenous Maori panelist from New Zealand, Mr. Teanau Tuiono (Project Coordinator, Māori Medium Publishing at CORE Education), who spoke on the need to understand the cultural context and connection of indigenous peoples with their lands, territories and resources, as well as their worldview so as to create alternative education systems (early childhood education, primary school, high school) adapted to their realities. He further stressed the need to support cultural diversity, the recognition of indigenous languages, and the promotion of alternative economic models that understand that the planet’s resources are finite.

Panel II on Culture as a lever of change, innovation, empowerment, equality, discussed the ways in which culture helps eradicate both the social and economic aspects of poverty and increase the impact on local development by adapting to local realities and needs. The panel had the participation of an indigenous Kichwa panelist from Peru, Mrs. Tarcila Rivera Zea (Founding President of CHIRAPAQ), who spoke on the need understand that most countries of the world come from pluricultural and multilingual societies. As such, she noted, governments should adopt intercultural policies to truly become inclusive and take into account the valuable contributions of indigenous peoples (re. climate change, sustainable management of resources, traditional practices, etc.). She further highlighted the need to foster indigenous economies and intercultural policies of development taking into consideration ancestral cultures, traditional knowledge, worldviews, artistic and musical expressions, among others.

For more information on the meeting click here.

To view the webcast of the event click here.