Grange announces Jamaica’s election to UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee

Kingston, 10 June 2021— The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Jamaica was elected to a seat on the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Jamaica’s elevation took place on Friday, June 4, 2021, during the Session of the Conference of Parties to the 2005 Convention, which was held from 1st June to 4th June.
Minister Grange said:

“For members of the Entertainment, Cultural and Creative Industries in Jamaica, the 2005 Convention encourages the free and unimpeded movement of Artistess, through bilateral agreements including the establishment of no-visa regimes.

“It is also a legal instrument which encourages trade in, and movement of, cultural goods, particularly through South-South trade, which is trade among developing economies such as those in the Caribbean, East European and Asian countries. This is seen as a way of addressing the imbalances in trade agreements between developing economies and those of the developed world.

“Jamaica’s elevation comes during the UN designated Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, and demonstrates how important I consider the need to protect and develop the Cultural and Creative sectors in Jamaica, so much so that I am prepared to employ measures at both the local and international levels.”

It is the second major UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee to which Jamaica has been elected to serve during Minister Grange’s tenure. “In 2019, Jamaica commenced its tenure on the powerful Intergovernmental Committee for the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Now, in 2021, during the global pandemic, my commitment to developing the Entertainment, Cultural and Creative Industries (ECCI) has not waned. Indeed, I gave instructions to lobby for this seat so as to create a more responsive environment for our ECCI’s.”

Jamaica has benefitted from several grants through the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), a multi-donor fund established under the 2005 Convention. Since 2010, the IFCD has invested more than US$8,761,767 in 120 projects from 60 developing countries, and Jamaica has received funding for the following 3 projects:

  • Towards the Revision of the National Cultural Policy in Jamaica (US$60, 201.00 for the period 2016-2018);
  • Implementing a Network for the development and dissemination of Caribbean Art (US$100,000.00 for the period 2019-2021) and;
  • Evaluating Jamaica’s Cultural and Creative Industries (US$72, 197.00 for the period 2021-2022)

Jamaica’s tenure on the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is for the period 2022-2026.

The new members of the Intergovernmental Committee are as follows:
Group I: France and Norway
Group II: Georgia and Serbia
Group III: Cuba and Jamaica
Group IV: Bangladesh and Vietnam
Group V(a): Burundi and Madagascar
Group V(b): United Arab Emirates and Palestine

The 2005 Convention’s main objective is to strengthen creation, production, distribution, dissemination, access and enjoyment of cultural expressions transmitted by cultural activities, goods and services, with a strong focus on developing countries.

The Convention, which has so far been ratified by 150 countries and the European Union, was adopted in response to growing pressure exerted on countries to waive their right to enforce cultural policies, and to put all aspects of the cultural sector on the table when negotiating international trade agreements.

It is a legally binding international agreement that reaffirms the sovereign right of States to adopt cultural policies that support their own cultural industries.

END

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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