UNESCO and CARIFORUM to host discussions on policies for balanced trade flows in culture between the Caribbean and European Union

UNESCO and CARIFORUM will organize panel discussions on culture and trade in Bridgetown, Barbados on 5 November 2019. The event marks the launch of “Culture in the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement – Rebalancing trade flows between Europe and the Caribbean?”, the first impact study on this landmark EPA concluded in 2008, with a dedicated Protocol on Cultural Cooperation.

Cultural and creative industries possess an immense potential to contribute to the region’s long-term economic growth through employment of young people and cultural content productions. The representation of Caribbean cultural products on the global stage, however, is limited. In 2014, as reported in UNESCO’s Global Report Re|Shaping Cultural Policies (2018),Global South countries accounted for only 26.5% of global cultural exports. The public debates, titled Create|2030, will explore ways to establish a more balanced cultural trade and improved mobility for artists in the Caribbean. Cultural trade experts on the panel will examine the future of creative industries and their role in the Caribbean’s sustainable development. Artists and cultural professionals are invited to attend and share their insights and perspective.

The event will also present the main findings of the impact study funded by the UNESCO-Aschberg Programme for Artists and Cultural Professionals and guided by the principles of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). The research has revealed that the Agreement’s cultural protocol, which grants Caribbean creative workers and their creations a preferential and simplified access to the EU market, has not yet resulted in a more balanced relationship between the two regions’ cultural and creative industries. Despite significant commitments undertaken by the EU, there is currently no dedicated funding or cultural cooperation programme to implement the cultural provisions and benefit the artists. Discussions will therefore focus on unexplored opportunities arising from Article 16 of the UNESCO’s 2005 Convention, the inspiration for the EPA’s cultural protocol, which calls on developed countries to provide “preferential treatment for developing countries” and their artists through various initiatives such as special visas for artists and cultural workers from developing countries or audio-visual coproduction schemes.

Percival Marie, Director General of CARIFORUM, Ambassador Daniela Tramacere, Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados, Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, and Danielle Cliche, UNESCO Chief of Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Secretary of the 2005 Convention, will deliver remarks.

Event website: http://bit.ly/cariativity

As seating is limited, please RSVP by 3 November to Andrea Richards at a.richards@unesco.org

Interview opportunities with UNESCO representatives and international cultural trade experts are available to media professionals. To schedule an interview, please contact a.richards@unesco.org