“For the Government of Mexico, culture is not an accessory or an ornament, but a central axis for the transformation of global realities and dynamics, through cultural diversity as the greatest wealth of nations. MONDIACULT 2022 represents a unique opportunity to continue building a common agenda, where culture is placed at the centre of the Global Development Agenda, with diversity and living cultures as protagonists of development policies, and with culture as a vehicle for peace, well-being and the generation of inclusive societies.”
Alejandra Frausto Guerrero
Secretary of Culture of the Government of Mexico
Professor Ignacio Tirado, Secretary General of UNIDROIT, together with Ms Marina Schneider, Principal Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary of UNIDROIT, attended the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, held from 28 to 30 September 2022 in Mexico City, which brought together almost 2600 participants, 150 State delegations, 135 Ministers of Culture, 32 intergovernmental organisations, 83 non governmental organisations and 9 UN agencies, an attendance figure that surpasses any meeting organised by UNESCO so far.
In light of the transformation of the cultural sector, and the difficulties faced, the challenge was to take a look at the cultural policies that are required to build a stronger, more resilient cultural sector, rooted in opportunities for sustainable development. The participants engaged in discussions over the course of two plenary sessions, four thematic sessions and numerous side events. The Secretary General of UNIDROIT intervened as observer in the Ministerial Thematic session 2 on “Heritage and cultural diversity in crisis” and Ms Schneider moderated the Ministerial Thematic session 3 on the same subject.
Ignacio Tirado Marina Schneider
The Final Declaration was adopted by acclamation after ten months of multilateral negotiations led by UNESCO, to recognise culture as a “global public good”, adapt cultural policies to contemporary challenges and stress the importance of integrating cultural heritage and creativity into international discussions on climate change.
The Declaration also emphasised the commitment of States to intensify the fight against the illicit trafficking in cultural property and called for an open and inclusive international dialogue for the return and restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin. “A very clear consensus has emerged from practically all the Ministers who have taken the floor to recognise that this is a huge problem and to take measures which, among other things, consist of continuing to support and ratify the instruments that already exist, such as the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention which is the sole instrument establishing uniform mechanisms for the restitution of stolen or illegally exported cultural property” commented Prof. Ignacio Tirado (see paragraphs 14 and 16 of the Declaration). Mexico acceded to the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention recently and it will enter into force for Mexico on November 1st, 2022.
The adopted text also proposes that Culture be included in the UN Future Summit in 2024 and that a World Forum on Cultural Policies convened by UNESCO be held every four years, starting in 2025.
Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, Secretary of Culture of the Government of Mexico, and Ignacio Tirado, Secretary General of UNIDROIT
Ignacio Tirado, Secretary General of UNIDROIT, Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, Secretary of Culture of
the Government of Mexico, and Jorge Sánchez Cordero, member of the Governing Council of UNIDROIT