The Economic Cooperation and Development Review published an article by Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, on the power and importance of culture. We have translated all the essential points for you.

• Culture is crucial for peace-building. Nowadays, everything changes so fast, and each society faces two major tasks: to resist the threat of separation and to introduce innovation that would ensure sustainable development. Culture can cope with both tasks. Luckily, more countries are coming to understand that we must rely on culture in order to build a more reliable future.

• Culture is key for the security of mankind. It is a vital resource for empowering communities to participate fully in social and cultural life. Respect for culture facilitates inclusive governance and dialogue at the national and international levels and can contribute to conflict prevention and mitigation. Experience across the world shows that it can be vital for reconciliation and recovery after conflicts or disasters.

• Culture is key for social development. To be sustainable and equitable, development must be relevant to all, including local communities and indigenous peoples, through appropriate recognition of cultural rights, traditional knowledge systems, cultural heritage and the rich diversity of traditional practices.

• Culture is key for inclusive economic development. The importance of culture in all its forms (handicrafts, festivals, performing arts, museums and exhibitions) is growing in value across the world as a source of income generation and job creation. The impact is especially important at the community level, where it can help empower individuals, improve their living conditions and foster economic growth. Growth through culture carries economic benefits, while advancing social cohesion.

• Culture is key for environmental sustainability. Protection of cultural and biological diversity and natural heritage is vital for sustainable development. Supporting traditional systems of environmental protection and resource management can contribute to increased sustainability of fragile ecosystems as well as the preservation of biodiversity. At a time of rapid environmental change, culture can help design better adaptive strategies.

More about the powers of culture can be read here...

Other interesting stories: