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Culture And Development, And CARIFESTA IX For Attention Of Meeting Of CARICOM Directors Of Culture

(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community is expected to join with the rest of the world in re-thinking the role of culture in the development prospects for its peoples. This subject will come into sharp focus next week, when the Regional Cultural Committee (RCC) meets at their sixteenth session in Georgetown, Guyana.

The two-day meeting scheduled for 17 and 18 May 2005 will look at several pertinent cultural matters, including Culture and Trade, Culture and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), Culture and Development, Regional and International Cultural Co-operation, and CARIFESTA IX.

With culture and development being given a heightened profile, the Region, like the rest of the world, is challenged to mainstream culture in development thinking and practice. In this regard, the Meeting will examine the issues emerging from three major international meetings in 2005 that considers cultural industries an essential feature of sustainable development.

Under this major Agenda item, the meeting is also expected to deliberate on issues of Culture and Sustainable Development in the context of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The ten-year Review of the BPOA was recently concluded at an international meeting in Mauritius in January 2005.

The Post-Mauritius Implementation Strategy which is still being developed is also due to come under review. Some of the matters for review include proposed discussions with donor partners to support Regional projects such as the US$5 million Caribbean Cultural Fund, the US$6 million Cultural Industries Capacity Building Project, the Regional Rainforest/Environmental Art Festival and CARIFESTA.

With CARIFESTA IX, initially scheduled to take place in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006, the Meeting is set to deliberate on a number of outstanding matters required for the re-branding of CARIFESTA, including improving the media value, assessing the financing and management framework for this “hallmark festival of Caribbean cultural and artistic excellence” and the inherent logistic factors. Trinidad and Tobago is expected to make a presentation of their proposal as well as The Bahamas, scheduled to host CARIFESTA X in 2008.

On matters relating to the CSME, the meeting will consider the role of culture in the CSME and the free movement of artists and cultural workers.

The RCC, which comprises Directors of Culture in CARICOM meet annually to devise common approaches to various issues, related to cultural development in the Region. Actions and recommendations of the Body are taken to the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) for decision.

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