The president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Volkan Bozkir, on Friday highlighted the transformative role of culture as an accelerator of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), hoping to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing the cultural and creative sector post-COVID-19.
"Far too often, we as a society are blind to the socio-economic contributions of those in the creative and cultural spheres. This is a mistake," the UNGA, or the PGA, told the high-level event on Culture and Sustainable Development held at the UN headquarters in New York.
In opening remarks, the PGA said industries such as advertising, architecture, fashion, film and television, account for 3 percent of the global economy, "are the largest employers of young people, and enrich our lives. Creative and cultural professionals therefore need support."
"Above and beyond these economic contributions, the creative sectors enrich our lives. Simply put, culture represents the human journey through the stream of life, and records human experience and expression from all ages and regions of the world," he said.
"Culture is what endures, what survives. Think of the monuments, heritage sites, traditions, and stories that stand the test of time, passed down by communities across generations, beyond any one person's life," said the PGA.
"They help us understand our circumstances and find meaning and purpose through historical and artistic reflection."
The UN membership designated 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. The intention behind this was to expand the global creative economy's contribution to job creation and entrepreneurship, and support developing countries' transition to high-value-added sectors, such as sustainable tourism, performing arts, and heritage conservation activities, according to the PGA.