Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Another Caribbean country moves forward towards safeguarding cultural heritage

Congratulations to St Kitts and Nevis on ratifying two UNESCO Culture Conventions which will help to strengthen the culture sector.

 Through a four year process of double ended ground up and top down sensitisation, prodding, lobbying and encouragement, St Kitts/Nevis ratified the  2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. Congratulations to the local authorities, led by the local commission on achieving this milestone.

The pace and processes to policy develop change, reform and development is slow, and additionally challenging for Small Island Developing States in minute and complex socio-economic, cultural and political milieu. Intimate understanding of the challenges facing the local and regional environment to bridge understanding about uses and relevance to local and national development and the relationship between and among what seems to be a bewildering mass of conventions and other international instruments and processes, ongoing support, prodding and guidance of local authorities through this has brought St Kitts Nevis now to a position to move towards implementation.  That it began in the spirit of inclusion, engaging both islands meaningfully sets the stage for ongoing action... 
St Kitts and Nevis joins successes in Belize, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados among others  ... more Best Practices from the Caribbean in national and global contexts ... ... 

Consultation on UNESCO’S cultural convention gets impressive support

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Press Release (EMU)
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     A wide cross section of stakeholders turned out to learn more regarding two cultural conventions which the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis hope to ratify in the near future.

    The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage as well as the Convention for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions were discussed at a National consultation.
    Dr. Kris Rampersad, Media, Cultural and Literary Consultant for UNESCO, facilitated open discussions on both Conventions sharing the benefits of signing on to such and expressing the view that there are really no negative consequences of becoming party to such conventions.
    She said apart from the obvious availability of funding for countries that adopted the conditions of these conventions, there are also the benefits of strength garnered from participation in the deliberation of international issues.
    Responding to the concern of some participants that International Organizations do not adequately express the views or address the concerns of small countries in their conventions, Dr. Rampersad explained that that UNESCO did not operate along those lines but rather it was more the failure of developing countries to make full use of the opportunities afforded them to participate in the policy and decision making processes.

    This view was supported by Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Antonio Maynard who said his organization would continue to provide opportunities for nationals to participate in those processes and would heighten its already very thorough requirements as far as follow-up action when persons benefit from such training and awareness-oriented meetings overseas.
    Mr. Maynard said, “Individuals at the consultation were not expected to become experts on the conventions but to become familiar with its contents especially in areas directly affecting them.” He suggested that they focus on the benefits.
    Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Ms. Sharon Rattan commented on her Ministry’s commitment to ensuring opportunities for public discourse on intended and signed conventions.
    The permanent secretary highlighted the inclusion of individuals from all walks of life to participate in the consultation on cultural conventions. She added specifically that every effort had been made to give youths the opportunity to participate and commended those who had so willingly attended and given their input.
    Cultural Director Mr. Creighton Pencheon said he was heartened by the show of support from the community, adding that based on the turn-out he had high hopes for the “future cultural landscape and the preservation and ownership of our unique culture.”
    Present at the event which took place at the Foundation For National Development (FND) Conference Room on May 31, were tour operators, producers, teachers, musicians, singers, artists, writers, poets, craftsmen, heritage experts,  media representatives as well as Mr. Winston Zack Nisbett among other cultural enthusiasts.
    A similar session is being held in Nevis

SKNVibes | Consultation on UNESCO’S cultural convention gets impressive support

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