Major Programme IV
04002 - Action will be continued under Major Programme IV to promote cultural diversity to achieve the three strategic programme objectives contained in the Medium-Term Strategy for 2008-2013 (34 C/4).
In pursuing this goal, activities will be organized around two biennial priorities and programme concentration efforts will be strengthened, in particular by reducing the number of main lines of action (five instead of six in document 34 C/5). All Main Lines of Action (MLAs) of MP IV, outlined below, will be directed towards mainstreaming culture and development throughout the various components of the Programme, from world heritage to intangible and movable cultural heritage, and from heritage to cultural industries and crafts.
04003 - Under the first biennial sectoral priority "Protecting, safeguarding and managing the tangible and intangible heritage", the strategy and action will aim at highlighting the role of heritage to help achieve concurrently sustainable development and social cohesion. Efforts will be pursued through the protection and/or conservation of heritage in all its forms – tangible and intangible, cultural and natural, movable and immovable. In light of the budgetary constraints and the request for increased coherence among the responsibilities between field offices and Headquarters, as well as the concomitant obligation to implement the normative instruments enshrined in UNESCO’s Conventions, Headquarters will concentrate on discharging statutory functions of respective governing bodies of the Conventions, while field offices will deploy efforts towards policy development, capacity-building and benchmarking functions.
04004 - The second biennial sectoral priority "Promoting the diversity of cultural expressions and the dialogue of cultures with a view to fostering a culture of peace" will focus on mainstreaming the principles of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue into national development policies as indispensable conditions for social cohesion, development and peace. Efforts to integrate culture into national development strategies will be reinforced and expanded, notably through joint programming exercises and modalities in the context of United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs).
04005 - Two major challenges will be faced by the Culture Sector during the biennium. The first concerns the increasing imbalance between its regular programme resources and extrabudgetary funding. In this context, the latter has considerably and laudably increased over the past years to support in particular the integration of the cultural dimension into development policies and strategies at the national level and into UNCT joint programming exercises. Yet, it is necessary to point out that so far an insufficient amount of extrabudgetary resources is being received for UNESCO’s Conventions, the operationalization of which rests entirely on the voluntary good will of individual State Parties that have adopted and ratified these Conventions. If the International Assistance Funds related to the 1972, 2003 and 2005 Conventions will not receive adequate voluntary contributions, their concomitant implementation – one of the key priorities for the biennium –, especially their effective functioning at the grass-roots level, will be jeopardized. The second challenge will concern action at country level, especially in the context of joint country programming exercises of UNCTs, which will essentially focus on policy-related advocacy for the implementation of the Culture Conventions and the integration of the cultural dimension into national development policies. Considerable efforts have been deployed in past biennia to promote the integration of culture into national and international development frameworks, notably by allocating additional financial and human support to select countries engaged in joint programming exercises and devising operational tools for this purpose. The challenge ahead is to build upon these efforts during the implementation phase at country level with a rapidly growing number of countries engaged in the preparation of UNDAFs during the biennium.
04006 - With regard to post-conflict and post-natural disaster countries, the action will build upon cultural factors in reconciliation and reconstruction processes in the context of initiatives launched and managed by the United Nations. Drawing on its set of cultural normative instruments, UNESCO will continue to focus operational interventions primarily on (i) damage assessments to be followed by (ii) operational rehabilitation, safeguarding and conservation actions, including their monitoring. In addition, efforts will be strengthened to bring and foster an integrated vision which recognizes cultural heritage both as vitally important in its own right and as a vector of national dialogue, reconciliation and social cohesion. In this context, the role of women as key actors of intercultural dialogue within conflict resolution and reconciliation mechanisms will be further promoted. All action will aim to further strengthen the intersectoral platform on post-conflict and post-disaster situations.