In accordance with the General Assembly Resolution 74/230, the President of the General Assembly will convene a one-day high-level event on Culture and Sustainable Development in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This event, which will be held on Friday 21 May 2021, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, will highlight the resilient and transformative role of culture as an accelerator of SDG implementation, as well as the challenges within the cultural and creative industries and the broader cultural ecosystem that were exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Its overall theme shall be “Building back better: towards a more resilient and impactful culture sector throughout COVID-19 and The Decade of Action”. It will, inter alia, provide the opportunity for Member States to share experiences on crisis-response measures to support the creative economy during the pandemic; identify implementation gaps and solutions; and call for strengthening strategic cross

-sectoral partnerships to unlock the transformative potential of culture in the recovery context and throughout the Decade of Action.

The High-level event on Culture and Sustainable Development will be broadcast live at

Watch Online

Watch the High-level event on Culture and Sustainable Development online on UNWebTV: Part 1 & Part 2


This year in particular, as creative industries cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the voices and experiences of those impacted, are more important than ever. 

That is why, we are calling YOU, cultural practitioners, and artists from all around the world to get involved! We want to hear YOUR voice. 

We’re seeking partners and platforms that will support the delivery of the messages, globally and at the UN High-Level event. 

We’re requesting that YOU record a short video (15-30 seconds) using the hashtag #Voices4Culture and give a single reason for why YOU matter to the cultural sector? (guidelines below)


Submit your short videos (30 sec) to this e-mail address: telling us why YOU matter?

Suggested Structure 

Hi, my name is __________ 

I am a / I work in ____________

I matter to the cultural sector because ___________ OR

My work matters because _________ contributes to the creative economy/helps artists/in my country, etc, etc. 

I stand with the global creative community / this is my voice for culture.


Not sure where to get started? Here some samples


  • 30 second
  • Horizontal shot (16:9)
  • Make sure there is no background noise. Good sounds is key!
  • Send us ( or post your video by 14 May 2021 using #Voices4Culture and #Culture4Development and follow the LIVE event on 21 May via:

Watch a sample video here:


We need to humanise the cultural sector and build a groundswell of support for the people who will play a key role in communicating, articulating and facilitating the road to recovery from COVID-19. 

Why get involved: This is an opportunity to showcase the faces and voices of the global cultural sector, support diversity, and underscore the value of arts and culture – and the people that produce in these sectors – as a key part of the human experience. 


This High-Level event is yours!


YOU are an artist or member of the creative community

YOU have a network of creatives and artists

YOU have a platform for arts and culture that can reach out to millions

YOU want to just raise awareness on how COVID-19 has impacted the culture sector

YOU want to show solidarity with artists and cultural practitioners

Then YOU should join our “Voices 4 Culture” campaign and have your voice heard. 


YOUR videos will be uploaded to official UN YouTube accounts and on UNCTAD’s YouTube account under the International Year of the Creative Economy playlist.

PGA Voice 4 Culture


Join the President and add your #Voices4Culture  

Watch Now


10:00-10:05 am
Musical Performance 


10:05-10:25 am
Opening Segment

H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly
H.E. Mr. Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council
Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO
Sir Richard Curtis, Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals

10:25-10:35 am
Multi-stakeholder Spotlight 

Ms. Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development
Mr. Alfredo Jaar, Artist, Architect, Filmmaker
Mr. Dieudonné Bantsimba, Mayor of Brazzaville
The Gallery Climate Coalition
Ms. Valerie Plante, Mayor of Montreal.

10:35-11:20 am
Panel I: Mainstreaming culture into sustainable development through partnerships

Mr. Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO
Ms. Viviane Hoffman, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture, European Commission
Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, the World Bank
Ms. Karen Maguire, Head of the Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Ms. Julene Siddique, Fellow, World Academy of Art & Science, Founder, Nada Brahma (Moderator)

Minister Videos
Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Italy: H.E. Mr. Dario Franceschini
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Jamaica: the Honourable Ms. Olivia Grange

11:20 am-1:00 pm
High-level Plenary

Speakers are invited to focus their statements on contributions to the overall vision, goals and targets of accelerating culture’s contributions to the SDGs, ensuring the cultural and creative industries’ equitable adaptations and transformations in COVID-19 recoveries, and mainstreaming culture within the SDGs through partnerships. In this regard, speakers are encouraged to describe national and regional challenges, policy responses and commitments, and announce partnerships, new multi-stakeholder initiatives and development cooperation.

3:00-3:10 pm
Multi-stakeholder Spotlight

Mr. Grégory Doucet, Mayor of Lyon
Ms. Frances Morris, Director of the Tate Modern Art Gallery
teamLab, Interdisciplinary Art Collective
The Ark Cultural Centre for Children

3:10-3:55 pm
Panel II: The Status of Artists, Cultural Professionals and Organisations: Equitable Digital Transformation to Support COVID-19 Recovery

Ms. Deeyah Khan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity, Emmy-award winning filmmaker
Yusuf Mahmoud, Chairperson, Music in Africa Foundation, CEO, Busara Promotions
Professor Nick Wilson, Head of Department, Culture, Media and Creative Industries, Professor of Culture & Creativity, King’s College, London
Ms. Mika Shino, CEO of Soundplay, Director of International Jazz Day, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz (Moderator)

Minister Videos
Minister of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh: H.E. Mr. K. M. Khalid
Minister for Culture, Sweden: H.E. Ms. Amanda Lind

3:55-4:05 pm
Multi-stakeholder Spotlight 

Ms. Luise Faurschou, Founder of Art2030
Mr. Zheng Jianxin, Mayor of Changsha
Ms. Lydia Dean Pilcher, Producer & Director, Founder of Cine Mosaic
Mr. Dawood Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality

4:05-4:50 pm
Panel III: Achieving Culture’s Transformative Potential to Accelerate the Decade of Action

This panel will share national experiences and best practices in integrating culture and the creative industries (CCIs) into national sustainable development plans, including via data collection, public consultations and diverse funding mechanisms. Speakers will also identify bottlenecks to progress and explore solutions, and, in the context of the International Year of Creative Economy, discuss the crisis-response measures needed to safeguard the creative economy during the pandemic, and factors hindering their effectiveness.

Ms. Emellie O’Brien, Founder and CEO, Earth Angel
Ms. Magdalena Moreno, Executive Director, International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA)
Ms. Silja Fischer, Secretary General of the International Music Council, representing the Culture 2030 Goal Campaign
Ms. Mika Shino, CEO of Soundplay, Director of International Jazz Day at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz (Moderator)

Minister Videos
Minister of Culture, Panama: H.E. Mr. Carlos Aguilar 
Minister of Culture and Media, Croatia: H.E. Ms. Nina Obuljen Koržinek

4:50-5:55 pm
High-level Plenary (continued) 
5:55-6:00 pm
Call to Action

Mr. Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO