Brussels, 22 October 2012/ ACP: ACP Ministers of Culture have launched an appeal for a renewed commitment to the development of the cultural sector in their regions. Dubbed the Brussels Resolution, the 32-point document comes after several days of active deliberations at the 3rd Meeting for ACP Ministers of Culture held last week.

Specifically, the Brussels Resolution proposes that cultural stakeholders in ACP countries work to raise more awareness and visibility about the sector and its role in national development. This includes creating networks of local and regional cultural expertise, as well as data collection systems to illustrate in real terms these social and economic contributions. “Innovative” funding mechanisms must also be set up, given the normally weak support from national and international partners.

Information flows and the sharing of best practices were also noted as a key area for improvement. Ministers urged that information focal points in the regions be set up to disseminate information, as well as frameworks for dialogue amongst cultural professionals. They pledged to ease conditions – including visa facilities – to allow for the active movement of cultural artistes, products and services, in order to reach regional and international markets.

The document also commended the ACPCultures+ Programme, which allocates EUR 30 million for cultural projects under the 10th round (2008-2013) of the European Development Fund (EDF). The programme recently launched its second call for project proposals last month.

Ministers proposed to meet every two years to take stock of progress and monitor the implementation of the 2003 Dakar Plan of Action, the 2006 Santo Domingo Resolution and the 2012 Brussels Resolution on Culture. ACP members who had not done already done so were also encouraged to sign and ratify the UNESCO Cultural Conventions.

Finally, ACP Ministers of Culture accepted the offer by Cape Verde to host the 2nd edition of the ACP Festival.

The Brussels Resolution will be tabled at the upcoming session of the ACP Council of Ministers in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea this December, in the lead up to the 7th ACP Summit for Heads of State and Government on 13-14 December.

Download the full text of the Brussels Resolution and other documents (PDF) (FR).

(Photos from top: Dancers from Cameroun perform for ACP Ministers at ACP House; Cameroun's Minister of Arts and Culture Hon. Ama Tutu Muna (centre) chaired the ministerial meeting, pictured here with ACP Assistant Secretary General and Head of Political Affairs and Human Development Mme. Michele Dominique Raymond, ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, H.E Daniel Evina Abe'e of Cameroun and ACP Assistant Secretary General and Head of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Mr Achille Bassilekin III.)

– ACP Press