Towards Access to Culture for All: Advancing Universal Access to Culture in its Diversity



Release Date

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Paris, 16 May—UNESCO will celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, 21 May, and this year’s 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, with a panel debate on ways to ensure everyone’s right to access culture.
Taking place at UNESCO Headquarters on the afternoon of 22 May (Room IV, 3pm to 5.30 pm,), the event will bring together UN representatives, museum directors, artists, tech leaders, and experts including the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, who will open the debate and the Organization’s newly appointed Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone, who will moderate the panel discussions.

Considering the potential of culture and intercultural dialogue as means of achieving peace and sustainable development, participants will seek ways to reconcile the paradox inherent to cultural globalization, which has led to tremendous growth in access while contributing to growing cultural uniformity, posing a threat to the diversity and wealth of the world’s cultural landscape.

The debate will focus on the enforcement of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that, “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”

Key participants will include:

  • Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights),

  • Youma Fall, Director of French Language, Culture and Diversity (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie),

  • Ghita Khaldi, Vice-President of Arterial Network (the Pan-African, network of artists, cultural activists, entrepreneurs, enterprises, NGOs, institutions, and donors),

  • Amit Sood, Director of Google Arts and Culture,

  • Vincenza Lomonaco, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO,

  • Léontine Meijer van Mensch, Member of the Executive Board of the International Council of Museums (ICOM),

  • Octavio Kulesz, UNESCO expert in digital publishing and media.

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