UNESCO Creative Cities endorsethe Braga Manifesto during the XVlAnnual Conference of the Network

UNESCO | 07 10, 2024

  On 2 July 2024, UNESCO Creative Cities endorsed the Braga Manifesto during the XVI Annual Conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in Braga, Portugal. This pivotal text underscores local-level commitment to implementing the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration and solidifies a shared vision of integrating culture as a standalone goal in the post-2030 sustainable development agenda.

Elisa Pinto de Freitas   

2 July 2024

Last update:3 July 2024

  This year's Annual Conference, themed "Bringing Youth to the Table for the Next Decade," was held in Braga, a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. Over 250 Creative Cities from around the world gathered to celebrate the Network’s 20th anniversary and underline the importance of youth engagement in urban development. A key highlight was the High-level Session, where Mayors and representatives from intergovernmental organizations and international networks discussed strategies to better integrate culture into sustainable urban development. The discussions culminated in the endorsement of the Braga Manifesto, advocating for culture to be recognized as a standalone goal in the post-2030 sustainable development framework.

  The Braga Manifesto: A Common Vision for Local Cultural Policies

  The endorsement of the “UNESCO Creative Cities Braga Manifesto: A Culture Goal for Sustainable Development” marked a milestone. Creative Cities called for unified efforts to recognize culture as a specific goal in its own right, setting the course for the Pact for the Future 2024 and the post-2030 development agenda. This common vision also acknowledges the key role cities play in championing innovative cultural policies and integrating culture as a fundamental pillar of future urban development strategies.

  “Through the UCCN Braga Manifesto, the Creative Cities around the world came together to recognize culture’s role as a driver and enabler of sustainable development. Today, they made a strong call for the integration of culture as a stand-alone goal in the post-2030 international development agenda. UNESCO invites its partners and intergovernmental organizations to join this common global vision.”

      Ernesto Ottone R.,Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO

  Accelerating the Implementation of the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration

  The Braga Manifesto charts a course of action for Creative Cities, building on the momentum from the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, where the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration was unanimously adopted by 150 States.

  Aligning with the Declaration, the Braga Manifesto outlines commitments across six priority areas to be implemented locally:

  Strengthening individual and collective cultural rights;

  Addressing the digital transformation in the cultural and creative sector, notably Artificial Intelligence (AI);

  Harnessing culture for climate action;

  Tapping into the economic dimensions of culture;

  Protecting cultural heritage in times of crisis; and

  Enhancing the synergies between culture and education.

  Beyond the endorsement of the Manifesto, the Mayor’s Forum also provided an exclusive platform to exchange on visions and strategies, focusing on initiatives to integrate culture into local policies, foster investments for sustainable cities and empower young generations to enhance urban resilience through creativity and innovation.

  Empowering the Next Generation: Creative Cities Amplifying Youth Voices

  According to the World Youth Report, people aged 15-24 years account for 16% of the global population, with significant growth projected in least developed countries. Recognizing youth as crucial in addressing development challenges, this year's Annual Conference puts the spotlight on youth empowerment. Sessions like the Dialogue with Youth and Thematic Panels aim to provide platforms for young creatives to voice their ideas and aspirations. By engaging youth and investing in their transformative power, cities can ensure a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Elisa Pinto de Freitas

  Celebrating Two Decades of Creative Cities

  The XVI UCCN Annual Conference marked the Network’s 20th anniversary. Since 2004, the UCCN has grown to over 350 cities from more than 100 countries, each dedicated to harnessing culture and creativity as strategic drivers for sustainable urban development. The Conference gathered global delegates to reflect on the progress, innovation and collaboration among Creative Cities, showcasing the Network’s transformative impact.

  A new report report "The Impact of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network on Local, National, and International Levels" was released to celebrate the anniversary and underscore the Network's significant contributions and successes. Ithighlights the Network’s role as a platform for collaboration between local authorities and stakeholders on innovative cultural projects impacting both national and international levels.

  Looking ahead, the UCCN aims to expand the global impact of Creative Cities through strengthened cooperation and advancing cultural agendas in line with the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration and Sustainable Development Agenda, addressing contemporary challenges and opportunities worldwide.

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