Creative economy key to inclusive development in the post-2015 development agenda: UN Report highlights

Dec 10, 2013

New York – The presentation of the Creative Economy Report 2013, Special Edition, in New York provides a menu of options and analysis of practical choices for local leaders to support cultural and creative industries in the pursuit of more inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth, leading to the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era.

The Report examines the interactions, policies and specific challenges facing the development of the creative and cultural sectors at the local level and determines how the creative economy is practically promoted in communities across the developing world.

World trade in creative goods and services is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy, more than doubling from 2002 to 2011, when it reached a record of US$624 billion. At the same time, developing countries averaged 12.1 per cent annual growth in the export of creative goods.
“The cultural and creative industries are important engines of economic growth. They generate jobs and income and contribute to individual and community well-being in both developed and developing economies,” said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark.

“At a time when the world is shaping a new post-2015 global development agenda, we must recognize the importance and power of the cultural and creative sectors as engines of that development,” added Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

This Report aims to serve as an inspirational tool for others shaping their own pathways for local development. It reviews close to 80 culture and development programmes from the MDG Achievement Fund - funded by the Government of Spain - and UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

In Peru, an MDG-F-supported joint development programme has trained local artisans to produce “chichi”, a traditional beverage, more efficiently. The initiative not only boosted profits but also empowered women typically marginalized from the local economy, increased environmental sustainability by introducing gas stoves, and even influenced public policies favourable to inclusive creative industries at the national, regional and local levels.

In Senegal, a “Hip Hop Akademy” trained local youth in digital graphic and design, music and video production, promotional management and marketing as well as DJ-ing, and English. This innovative programme enabled young creative industry professionals to meet their potential locally with access to the global market, preserving artistic culture while capitalizing on technological evolution for development. The Senegal programme also enabled the inscription and development of two cultural sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
As world leaders seek more inclusive models of participation, the integration of culture and creativity into the development agenda at the global and national levels is an imperative. This will encourage the promotion of local approaches to development and ownership of development strategies and promote cultural participation, cultural heritage and innovation.

The Creative Economy Report is the result of a partnership between the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, hosted by UNDP, and UNESCO, with contributions from other UN agencies. It builds on the 2008 and 2010 editions of this Report.

The Report also offers concrete recommendations to policy makers on how to boost their creative and cultural sectors, such as matching investments with infrastructure and labour capacities, specific mechanisms scaled for local enterprise development, effective intellectual property rights that stimulate creative economies and access to global markets.

Contact information

Ms. Ines Tofalo
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation
hosted by the United Nations Development Programme
+1 212 906 5123

Ms. Suzanne Bilello,
Senior Public Information and Liaison Officer,
+1 212-963-4386

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