April - Draft 13 January 2004

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April - Draft 13 January 2004

    U N E S C O

    Open Planning Meeting on Barbados+10/Mauritius’04

    Thursday 8 April 2004. Room XIV

    Summary Record

Present: Cambers (SIV, via conference call with Puerto Rico), Chiba (CLT), Curtis

    (SC), Elias (Bangkok-SC/CLT, via conference call), Green (SC), Hadley (SC), Ikhlef

    (SC), Jacquot (CLT), Kasymov (BSP/YTH), Ladjali (ED), Mandalia (SC),

    Nakashima (SC), Perce (SC/IOC), Radoykov (CI), Raondry-Rakotoarisoa (Dakar-SC,

    via conference call), Schischlik (CLT), Steffen (Jakarta-SC, via conference call),

    Tran (SC), Troost (SC), Tukhtabayev (ERC), Van Oers (CLT/WHC), Voi (Apia-CLT,

    via conference call).

Apologies: Alfsen-Norodom (New York-SC), Boer (Doha-SC), Bully (Kingston-CLT),

    Engelhardt (Bangkok-CLT), Fortes (Bangkok-SC/IOC), Henriques-Mueller

    (BSP/YTH), Holmes (IIEP), Stenou (CLT), Stukel (UIS-Montreal), Thulstrup (Apia-

    SC), Virtanen (New Delhi-CI).

Background: Over the last decade, a range of programmes and projects in

    UNESCO‘s programme sectors and services have sought to contribute to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in the light of

    the Programme of Action on SIDS adopted in Barbados in May 1994. Following the

    World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the United Nations has called-

    for a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the Barbados

    Programme of Action (BPoA), culminating in an international meeting in Mauritius

    (30 August-3 September 2004) and follow up. International organizations have

    been invited to participate in the Barbados+10 (B+10) review and Mauritius 2004

    (M‘04) follow-up process.

    To this end, within UNESCO, an informal open ad-hoc meeting on B+10/M‘04 was held on 22 May 2003, following an open invitation issued by the UNESCO Focal

    1Point for B+10/M‘04. Subsequent meetings took place on a near-monthly basis.

    The tenth open planning meeting took place on 4 March, associated with the first

    meeting of the intersectoral working group on Sustainable Development of Small

    2Island Developing States (WG-SIDS). The provisional agenda for the 8 April

    meeting was distributed by the UNESCO Focal Point for B+10/M‘04 through e-mail

    of 31 March.

UN Secretary General’s Report and the CSD session on B+10/M’04. As

    reported at previous monthly meetings, UNESCO has compiled a 15-page

    34contribution to the UN Secretary General‘s consolidated report that has been

    prepared for the twelfth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

    (CSD-12) and its discussion on B+10/M‘04 (UN-New York, 14-16 April). Other documents to be considered by the CSD-12 include the two main outputs of the

    inter-regional preparatory meeting (Nassau, Bahamas, 26-30 January 2004): (i)

     1 Summary records for each monthly meeting can be accessed at

    d=1075466916 2 The working group was set-up by the Director General to promote and coordinate UNESCO-wide

    contributions to the B+10/M’04 process. See DG/Note/04/07 dated 10 February 2004: 3 The 15-page UNESCO contribution can be accessed at 4 Document E/CN.17/2004/8.

Nassau Declaration, and (ii) AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) Draft Strategy

    5for the Further Implementation of the BPoA.

     B+10 summary record 8April04 2 As an ensemble, these three documents address the principal issues largely

    environment-based that featured in the 1994 BPoA, such as climate change and

    sea-level rise, disasters, waste management, freshwater resources, energy, tourism,

    biodiversity. Significantly, they also include explicit recognition of the importance

    for sustainable development of such dimensions and perspectives as culture, youth

    and gender equality, as well as the adoption of integrated and holistic approaches

    at all levels. They also incorporate new and emerging issues, such as health

    (HIV/AIDS), ITCs, trade, security (in the widest sense), culture, youth, education for

    sustainable development, knowledge management and information for decision

    making. As such, the three documents cover most, if not all, of the dimensions of

    sustainable development, and articulate with many of UNESCO‘s areas of

    competence and programmes. They also reflect a major change in mindset

    compared with the 1994 BPoA and the 1999 B+5 review, and indeed the regional

    preparatory meetings for B+10/M‘04 held in July-October 2003.

Culture and sustainable island living/development. Culture and traditional

    knowledge figure quite prominently in both the AOSIS Strategy paper and the UN

    Secretary General‘s report, as reflected in a compilation of selected extracts from

    the two documents. For example: ―SIDS recognize the importance of the cultural identity of people and its importance in advancing sustainable development and

    also recognize the need to develop cultural industries and initiatives, which present

    significant economic opportunities for national and regional development‖ (AOSIS

    Draft Strategy, para.77). ―SIDS have begun to examine more closely the importance

    of culture and cultural development in national and regional strategies for their

    sustainable development. There is growing recognition that an effective

    development strategy for SIDS should be cognizant of and responsive to the unique

    historical and cultural realities of the people.‖ (UN-SG Report, para 74).

In reflecting on UNESCO‘s possible role and contribution, discussants stressed the

    overwhelming importance and all-pervasiveness of culture and cultural identity in

    respect to island living and development. Everything that happens in a society is

    driven and shaped by culture and value systems. As such, culture plays a crucial

    role in fostering sustainable development, as it pervades all aspects of social,

    economic and political life as well as representing the collective adaptation of SIDS

    populations to their environments, embodying much valuable knowledge. Culture

    is also a force for social cohesion, stability and the maintenance of peace and

    security, while cultural diversity stimulates creativity and innovation for

    sustainable local economic development.

A number of examples were given on particular dimensions of UNESCO‘s culture-

    related activities that could enrich the preparation and convening of the Mauritius

    meeting and (most importantly) its follow-up: island cultures and identities;

    safeguarding the cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible; promoting

    cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; developing cultural enterprises.

    Suggestions were made on possible drafting changes that might be brought to the

    attention of the proponents of the AOSIS Draft Strategy paper during the CSD-12


B+10 summary record 8April04 3

    meeting (14-16 April), as well as follow-up adaptation and usage of the UN

    Secretary General‘s document.

In several UNESCO programmes, there are springboards for action: Promoting and

    applying standard-setting instruments such as the Universal Declaration on

    Cultural Diversity and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible

    Heritage (including associated programmes such as Masterpieces of the Oral and

    Intangible Heritage); Reinforcement of World Heritage initiatives in regions such as

    the Caribbean and Pacific, and proposed serial nomination of Slave Route sites for

    the World Heritage List; Observance of 2004 as International Year for the

    Commemoration of the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition; Intellectual

    property rights and the safeguarding of local and indigenous knowledge and

    expressions of culture, including the use of traditional knowledge in enriching local

    content in school curricula; Intersectoral work on cultural diversity and biological

    diversity (in cooperation with UNEP); Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity actions

    for optimizing the development of cultural enterprises in SIDS in such fields as

    handicrafts, music and heritage tourism; Using ICTs for linking together creators

    in chains of production and marketing (e.g. in film animation); Setting-up in

    Mauritius of an International Institute for Intercultural Dialogue and Peace.

There was a general feeling that UNESCO could contribute distinctively to culture-

    related side events during the Mauritius meeting, particularly in ‗showcasing‘ a

    sampling of the many different dimensions and perspectives of island cultures.

    Possibilities and options for side-events to be considered by the forthcoming CSD,

    AOSIS and Inter-agency Task Force meetings include the attribution of daily themes

    for side events (e.g. on island environments, island economies, and socio-cultural

    dimensions of island living), community activities at the ‗Community Vilaj‘, and the

    completion of the partnership form in respect to culture-related follow-up activities.

    Mention was made of the desirability of cultural perspectives infusing a range of

    side events in Mauritius (e.g. creative enterprises during discussions on island

    trade), as well as culture being a specific focus of attention in one or more special


Youth Visioning for Island Living. Progress was reported in advancing the ‗Youth

    6visioning for island living‘ process, focused initially on three themes: Life and love

    in islands - island lifestyles and cultures; My island home - safeguarding island

    environments; Money in my pocket - economic and employment opportunities. A data-base on youth organizations in SIDS has been developed, as part of the lead-

    up to the on-line launching in late April of the interactive web-site for island youth,

    in cooperation with the international youth NGO TakingITGlobal. The Lighthouse

    Foundation has agreed to provide support to the youth event in Mauritius (28

    August-1 September) and to concrete follow-up projects. Discussions are

    continuing with a view to the progressive involvement of other bodies as partners

    and donors in the project. Nearing completion are a youth friendly publication on

    the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (―Under the Skin‖) and a Pacific

    region version of ―World Heritage in Young Hands‖.

In respect to the youth event in Mauritius itself, discussions are continuing with the

    national authorities with respect to logistic arrangements. The hope was expressed

    that young people would be able to participate in activities linked to the Community

    Vilaj initiative. The importance of involving poor, marginalized and disaffected


youth in the whole youth visioning process (and particularly concrete follow-up

    activities) was reiterated.

     B+10 summary record 8April04 4 Raising awareness on SIDS/B+10/M’04. As indicated in the summary record of the 22 January planning meeting, a number of initiatives within UNESCO‘s

    programmes seek to respond to the call of AOSIS to increase public and

    professional awareness of the evolving challenges relating to sustainable

    development in SIDS. Updates were provided on a number of these activities. Early

    April has seen the release of a three-page text on ‗Small Island Developing States‘, as one of 13 briefing documents prepared within the Decade on Education for

    7Sustainable Development (to be formally launched in January 2005). Special

    dossiers on small islands have been put together for the April issue of the Science

    8Sector‘s World of Science news magazine and the ‗in-press‘ issue of the UNESCO Courier. A brochure and substantive report on the Small Islands Voice (SIV)

    initiative are in page proof and final draft form, respectively. Drafting continues of

    the ‗Island Agenda II‘ overview of UNESCO‘s work on island environments,

    territories and societies, with a view to posting in mid-2004 on the UNESCO ‗Small islands (Barbados+10)‘ web-site. A printed 32-40 page distillation will be prepared

    for publication in illustrated booklet form for the Mauritius meeting.

In addition, academia, the general public and youth are involved in global

    discussions on island issues via three UNESCO internet forums that are accessible

    via:; ; (the latter

    with username view and password only).

Other. Miscellaneous points raised under ―Other business‖ included the following

    items: (a) On 26 March, the Director General met with Ambassadors and

    Permanent Delegates of SIDS, who informed the Director General of the informal

    group that they have established with a view to contributing to the preparation of

    the Mauritius meeting. Views were exchanged on the continuing involvement of

    UNESCO in the B+10/M‘04 process; (b) On 6 April, the UNESCO Focal Point for B+10/M‘04 took part in the most recent discussions of the Interagency Task Force

    (IATF) for B+10/M‘04, through conference-call link-up facilities organized under the

    aegis of UNDESA-New York; (c) Ancillary activities envisaged during the Mauritius

    meeting include the launching of a consortium grouping small-island regional

    universities, including University of the South Pacific, University of the West Indies.

    Next meeting. Thursday 13 May (16.00-17.30 hours, Salle XIV) is proposed for the

    second meeting of the intersectoral WG-SIDS. This will be an enlarged meeting,

    with Ambassadors and Permanent Delegates, with other staff members cordially

    invited to take part. Before and after 13 May, conference-call discussions will be

    continued with key field offices involved in the B+10/M‘04 process.

Further information. For the regularly updated Planning Note and the various

    documents mentioned above as well as questions, comments and suggestions on

    UNESCO‘s contribution to the B+10/M‘04 process -- please contact Most of the documents are accessible through hyperlinks

    within the interactive UNESCO web-site on ‗Small islands (Barbados+10)‘:


    URL_ID=27234&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html 8

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