UNESCO’s report Re|Shaping Cultural Policies launched during World Press Freedom Day

The talk show was moderated by Jussi-Pekka Rantanen, journalist, Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, with Mike van Graan, Executive Director, African Arts Institute (South Africa), Ammu Joseph, journalist, media watcher (India), Ole Reitov, Executive Director, Freemuse NGO and Marie Ottosson, Assistant Director-General, Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) .

Opening the debate, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education and Culture, Finland said: “Artistic and creative experiences are critical to democratic life. Artists are at the forefront. We must stand up for their rights, and ensure equitable and social rights for them as well”.

Journalist and media watcher, Ammu Joseph, brought forward the message that women remain poorly represented in a number of cultural and media professions.

Other experts joining the debate reviewed the state of artistic freedom and mobility of artists, and outlined how legislation, policies and practices can enhance fundamental principles and freedoms defined in the Convention in these core areas and create positive change in the process of developing modern, sustainable and democratic societies.

“We need an holistic approach to cultural policies, emphasized the Assistant Director-General of the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency, Marie Ottosson. Artistic freedom, as a basic human right, needs to be put back on the agenda”.

UNESCO’s Global Report entitled: “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies: A Decade Promoting the Diversity of Cultural Expressions for Development” displays many innovative cultural policies and measures implemented around the world over the past 10 years to support the creation, production, distribution and access to diverse cultural goods and services, also in the digital environment. The Report highlights the challenges which need urgent attention – not least in the field of gender equality, mobility of artists and artistic freedom.

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