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    G20 Meeting on Cultural Economy: ICESCO DG proposes New approach for Cultural Policy Reform

    5 November 2020

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), called for accelerating the reform of the cultural sector and the promotion of the world cultural economy. He proposed an action plan centered on four axes. He also noted that cultural industries, a sector representing 3% of GDP and employing 30 million people worldwide, is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The statement came in the DG’s address at the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting, held yesterday, in a videoconference, under the theme: “The rise of the cultural economy: a new paradigm.” Heads of international cultural organizations participated in the event. The meeting is the first of its kind to have been held at the initiative of Saudi Arabia, the president of the G20 for the year, prior to G20 Leaders’ Summit on 21-22 November 2020.

    ICESCO’s DG congratulated the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, his Crown Prince H.R.H. Muhammad bin Salman, and Saudi Arabia for the successful presidency of the G20 Summit 2020. Dr. AlMalik noted that the Group has always provided solutions at the service of humanity through implementing necessary policies in times of crisis.

    Dr. AlMalik further stated that ICESCO supported its Member States in addressing the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and endeavored to sustain remote cultural action. He cited ICESCO’s numerous initiatives, namely “ICESCO Digital Home” which offers access to several open knowledge sources. The list also included “ICESCO Creativity Prizes” for short stories, poetry, drawing and music, and “ICESCO Heritage Center.”

    The Extraordinary Conference of Member States’ Culture Ministers also adopted the “ICESCO Project on Digital Culture” to discuss “the management of cultural affairs during the pandemic,” held in June 2020.

    Dr. AlMalik revealed that ICESCO is considering building an international center for arts and is currently launching the “ICESCO Roads for Cultural Communication” project, as part of the “Islamic World’s Culture Capitals Program.” He also stated that the Organization proposes a new action plan for reforming, through the adoption of the digital culture economy, the cultural sector in the post-COVID world, based on four main axes:

    1. Developing cultural sectors for innovative conversion to the economy of digital culture and creative industries;
    2. Reforming the audiovisual and interactive media and promoting the sector of design and creative services;
    3. Encouraging cultural tourism to reap benefit from tangible and intangible heritage as part of culture-making;
    4. Making new laws and legislations through the establishment of funds to support youth in the launch of start-ups and skill-sharing worldwide.

    The DG thanked H.H. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Minister of Culture, President of the Conference, for inviting ICESCO to the important event. The goal was to discuss the promotion of culture and ways to support the global cultural economy and lay bridges for cultural communication.

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