MONTREAL, June 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The first city in the world to support the idea of making culture a pillar of sustainable development, Montreal was selected by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) to represent the world's cities in a debate to be held during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on June 12.
This thematic debate on culture and development was convened by Vuk Jeremić, President of the General Assembly. It will take place in the presence of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, as well as numerous ministers of culture and representatives of major international institutions.
Élaine Ayotte, a member of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal and responsible for culture, heritage and design, as well as Co-Chair of the UCLG's Committee on Culture, will also attend this debate on the role and impact of culture on development. "The aim of the UCLG is to appeal to the governments who play a major role in formulating the agenda of the UN for post-2015 development," she explains. "In concrete terms, this means integrating the cultural dimension into definitions of sustainable development and well-being, as well as into the conception and timetables of development policies and programs. The presence of Montréal at this major event reflects both the importance the city attaches to culture as a development strategy, and the reputation of our cultural metropolis around the world. It is essential to recognize the potential of culture in global strategies of development. Our hope is that the UN will add culture as a new Millennium Development Goal."
About the UCLG Committee on Culture
Since 2004, the UCLG has promoted the international dissemination and local implementation of the Agenda 21 for culture, the first document with a world-wide mission to encourage cities and local governments to act in favour of cultural development. To date, over 450 cities, organizations and local governments have contributed to its success, including Montréal since 2005. Montreal is a founding member of the Committee on Culture, which was formed in 2007, and serves as Co-Chair alongside Buenos Aires and Mexico City. Lille-Métropole is the Chair of the Committee and Angers, Barcelona and Milan act as Vice-Chairs. UNESCO is the Committee's principal international partner.
Due to the efforts of the UCLG, the Committee on Culture has become a worldwide leader in promoting the role of culture in development, as reflected by the following achievements:
- declaration adopted in Mexico City in 2010: "Culture: Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development"
- participation in the preparation of Rio + 20, a UN Conference on Sustainable Development;
- active contribution to the final declaration of the Hangzhou International Congress - "Culture: Key to Sustainable Development" (UNESCO) in May 2013.
"Cities are being called upon to play an increasingly active role on the world stage, particularly with regard to culture and development," Élaine Ayotte concludes. "UCLG is the largest association of cities in the world. Montréal is proud to be able to actively participate in this organization, and in particular in its Committee on Culture, a unique meeting-point for the world's cities."
A live webcast of this debate will be presented on Wednesday, June 12, at 10 a.m. on UN Web TV: webtv.un.org
For more information on the mission, or for documentation and photographs: ville.montreal.qc.ca/culture/onu
Preliminary program of the debate: http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/67/issues/pdf/Draft%20Programme.pdf
Declaration of the Hangzhou International Congress in 2013 (UNESCO) - Culture: Key to Sustainable Development: http://www.unesco.org/new/fr/culture/themes/culture-and-development/hangzhou-congress/
UCLG Committee on Culture: www.agenda21culture.net
Élaine Ayotte will be available for media interviews on Tuesday, June 11 in Montréal and Wednesday, June 12 at 6 p.m. in New York.
SOURCE: Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif
For further information:
Sarah Shirley, Press Attaché
Office of the Mayor and the Executive Committee
City of Montréal
for media interviews in New York please contact :