The Ministry of Culture participates in the “G20 Cultural” meeting

Abu Dhabi (WAM)

The Ministry of Culture participated in the meeting of the G20 Cultural Working Group, which was held virtually under the presidency of Brazil on March 13 and 14, 2024, and was attended by the Ministry’s delegation headed by Shatha Al-Mulla, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Heritage and Arts Sector in the Ministry of Culture.
The UAE is participating as a guest in the 2024 G20 Heads of State and Government Summit after receiving an invitation from the Brazilian presidency of the group, which is the third time in a row that it has participated in it after receiving a similar invitation from the Indian presidency of the group for the year 2023, and the Indonesian presidency for the 2022 session. The UAE participated in the G20 Summit in 2020 under the Saudi presidency, and in 2011 under the French presidency.
Margaret Menezes, Brazilian Minister of Culture, opened the virtual meeting of the Cultural Working Group with a welcoming speech, which was followed by holding dialogue sessions under the summit’s slogan “Building a Just World and a Sustainable Planet.” These sessions addressed four priority areas: cultural diversity, social inclusion, culture, the digital environment, copyright, and the economy. Creative, sustainable economic development, preservation, protection and dissemination of heritage and cultural memory. Topics discussed at the meeting included procedures for preserving and protecting heritage, and how G20 members and guest countries can stimulate exchange relations, technical cooperation and partnerships to preserve and protect cultural heritage.
The UAE delegation reviewed the country’s efforts in the four priority areas, and its firm commitment to culture as a source of development and fostering innovation, creativity and social cohesion.
The delegation pointed to cultural diversity and social inclusion in Emirati society, with the country embracing more than 200 nationalities, praising the efforts of the Indian presidency in developing the final statement of the Cultural Working Group meeting last year, as this statement – titled “Kashi Cultural Path” – summarizes the points that were made. Consensus was reached during the ministerial meeting of the Cultural Working Group.
The delegation noted the contents of the statement regarding the impact of climate change on cultural and natural heritage, and stressed that although culture and heritage are exposed to many risks resulting from climate change, elements such as tangible and intangible heritage, creativity and local knowledge systems provide great potential to support climate action.
The commitments made in the “Kashi Cultural Pathway” document were an effective tool in outlining the UAE Declaration for Culture-based Climate Action, which was unanimously adopted during the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Culture-based Climate Action, which was held during the Conference of the Parties to the Convention. United Nations Framework on Climate Change COP28 on December 8, 2023 in Dubai.
Digital technologies and how to benefit from them in the cultural sector formed a major topic during the meeting, where the spotlight was highlighted on responsible development and ways to use artificial intelligence technologies in cultural contexts. The UAE delegation presented many distinguished visions about the UAE’s national strategy for artificial intelligence, and also highlighted some national initiatives, such as the National Programmers Program, which promotes equal access to digital technology. The meeting also witnessed an expanded discussion on the protection of copyright and intellectual property in the digital world, and the role of international cooperation in forming a framework that ensures the ethical use of technology was also emphasized.
The National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries in the UAE played a pivotal role in directing national efforts towards building a strong creative economy, as the UAE attaches utmost importance to investing in enhancing talent and building the appropriate infrastructure to stimulate creative sectors. It also promises to protect the rights of creators and set standards to determine the size of its creative economy. It is one of the areas that the UAE has focused on, and it will be discussed during upcoming meetings with G20 members and guest countries. The meeting touched on the issue of sustainability and the importance of strengthening the digital system. In this context, the UAE delegation pointed out that the country has included sustainable development goals in its national policies and strategies at the state level.
Based on the pivotal role that creative and digital economies play in promoting sustainability, the UAE is working to strengthen its digital system and create a fair and supportive digital environment for business. The UAE delegation highlighted the digital landscape in the country and the use of digital tools to achieve social, economic and cultural development, as it constituted Sustainability has been the foundation of the UAE’s development vision for more than five decades now and will continue to guide its future path as well. The delegation spoke about national initiatives in the field of preserving and protecting cultural heritage, as the UAE has made great efforts to enhance the growth of its heritage sector by preserving its tangible and intangible heritage as a country that looks to the future, while preserving its authentic heritage and traditions.
The UAE delegation explained that all these efforts are not limited to the country only, but also extend to the region and the world, as they reflect the “Reviving the Spirit of Mosul” initiative, and the UAE’s partnership with the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Zones “Alef Foundation,” and the African World Heritage Fund, Real examples of the pioneering role played by the UAE in leading efforts to protect human heritage. The Ministry of Culture delegation will participate in the preparatory meetings for the G20 Culture Ministers’ meeting later this year, in order to agree on the action plan for G20 priorities.
Strengthening cooperation
Last year, the Ministry of Culture delegation represented the UAE in various cultural working group meetings throughout the year, which culminated in the participation of His Excellency Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Culture, in the ministerial meeting of culture ministers of the G20 countries, which was held in the Indian city of Benares in August 2023. During the meeting, His Excellency stressed the need for continued cooperation between all parties to use culture and creativity as a means to confront the challenges of climate change, and to enhance cooperation between countries of the South to achieve inclusion and sustainability.

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