Global campaign Culture in SDGs

#culture2015goal is the first-ever global joint campaign of cultural networks on culture and sustainable development. The campaign includes networks of governmental and non-governmental organizations. The members of these networks work locally, nationally and internationally, connecting local communities to globalization. The campaign convenes a key message: culture is not only at the centre of the challenges at stake but also an essential component of the answer.

The campaign was informally born in Hangzhou (China), in May 2013. Leaders of global cultural networks were called to contribute to the Hangzhou Conference “Culture: Key to Sustainable Development“, convened to discuss how culture elements should be considered in Sustainable Development Goals (to be approved by United Nations in September 2015). The leaders of global cultural networks lobbied the organisers (UNESCO and the PR of China) to include the request of a stand-alone Culture Goal in the Sustainable Development Goals in the final declaration of the Conference.

The campaign has published three main documents:

1. “Culture as a Goal in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. Published in October 2013. This document positively notes the last paragraph of UNESCO’s Hangzhou Declaration (May 2013), which explicitly asks a “Culture Goal” in the Sustainable Development Goals. This document suggests a specific wording for the “Culture Goal” and 10 possible targets.

2. “Declaration on the Inclusion of Culture in the Sustainable Development Goals”. Published in May 2014. This declaration notes that the first drafts of the outcome document which had being so far written by the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (published in February, March and April 2014) completely ignored cultural elements. The members of the #culture2015goal insist on the importance of culture, and suggest several ways to include culture in the final draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (which had to be approved in July 2014).

3. “Recognising the Role of Culture to Strengthen the UN-Post 2015 Development Agenda”. Published in February 2015. This document notes that the Outcome Document of the Sustainable Development Goals (published on 19 July 2015) as well as the UN Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda “The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet” (published on 4 December 2014) include some interesting though insufficient considerations on culture and sustainable development. The members of the #culture2015goal suggest a complete compendium of indicators on culture to be included in the several “targets” of the Sustainable Development Goals. The document states that the achievement of sustainable development will require investment in the improvement of measurement tools and methodologies, including on those related to cultural aspects.