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Latin American and Caribbean Ministers of Culture advocate for the role of culture in development
 
    
© UNESCO Havana/ 19th Forum and First Meeting of Ministers of Culture of CELAC
21 March 2013/UNESCO Havana/Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

On 14 and 15 March 2013, in Paramaribo, Surinam, Latin American and Caribbean Ministers ratified the importance of culture and cultural diversity as major means for regional cooperation and sustainable development. They did so on the occasion of the 19th Forum and First Meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

They emphasized the relevance of UNESCO's conventions in the fields of heritage and creative industries, and urged Member States which have not yet ratified them, to do so, since these are essential instruments to support the development and the effective implementation of cultural policies in the Region. Likewise, they reaffirmed the link between Culture and Sustainable Development, underlying the role of culture in the eradication of poverty and in the reduction of social inequalities.

The Ministers and the governmental officials in charge of culture also expressed the need to continue the battle against illicit traffic in cultural goods in the region and welcomed the recommendations in this regard put forward by the participants in the Training Workshop for Caribbean Member States held in Saint Lucia in December 2012.

Moreover, they reaffirmed their unanimous support to resolution 65/166 of the United Nations General Assembly on Culture and Development, as well as UNESCO’s efforts to include culture in the Sustainable Development Goals which will be adopted in 2015. Within the mandate of CELAC, they expressed their will to submit common proposals to multilateral forums that deal with the relation between culture and development, including the International Congress "Culture: a key aspect of for sustainable development" to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, from 15 to 17 May 2013, and the Substantive Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of July 2013.

The Ministers of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean expressed their appreciation to UNESCO for the historical support given since 1989 to the Forum of Ministers of Culture, and in particular for the assistance given by the Forum's Technical Secretariat. Following a request by the Region's Member States, UNESCO's Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean provides, since 1999, the Technical Secretariat of the Forum.

24 Member States were represented in the meeting: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Suriname Declaration

For additional information, see http://www.unesco.lacult.org/encuentros/indice.php?lg=2&idtitulo=1589

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