UNESCO meeting to discuss threats to cultural heritage

On the agenda of a conference of foreign ministers of culture Wednesday in Mexico are challenges such as unequal access to new technologies, illicit trafficking and other dangers to cultural property.

Representatives from around 190 UNESCO Member States will participate in the three-day World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development in Mexico City.

Pablo Raphael, conference coordinator, says the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of culture in promoting public health.

Without literature, music and films, “no one could have survived the confinement and the stress”, he said.

However, the healthcare crisis has also revealed technological disparities between different communities, according to Mexican Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto, who spoke to AFP.

One of the objectives of the meeting is to find ways to ensure that artists have access to technologies to share their work.

A call for recognition of culture as a “global public good” that benefits all peoples of the world is included in the final declaration.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals should also include a “realistic ambition” for cultural history, according to Frausto.

Mexico and other Latin American countries are particularly interested in two of the issues on the agenda: the protection of community intellectual property and the restitution of cultural property.

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