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Ministry of Culture and Youth to strengthen Costa Rica’s music sector with technical assistance from UNESCO and the European Union

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the European Union and the Ministry of Culture and Youth launched on 4 February the Cooperation Programme for the Development of the Music Sector in Costa Rica.

Because cultural work generates economic growth, decent employment and promotes intercultural dialogue and social cohesion, culture is a key factor for economic and social recovery and for the fulfilment of the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Costa Rica.

During the announcement, which was made through a virtual event via Facebook, it was reported that Costa Rica is one of the twelve countries worldwide chosen to benefit from UNESCO’s cooperation programme and the first in third countries supported by the European Union, for the strengthening of cultural governance and the promotion of South-South cooperation.

This technical assistance seeks to strengthen competitiveness, as a starting point, through the design of measures aimed at achieving greater professionalisation, associativity, visibility and formalisation of the music sector, with a view to scalable instruments for the rest of the sector. Overall, this programme is an important milestone to affirm the rights of cultural workers as established by the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the National Policy on Cultural Rights and the Costa Rica Creative and Cultural Strategy, as a continuation of work led by the Ministry of Culture and Youth in coordination with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund and the Ministry of Labour.

Fotografía: Festival Nacional de las Artes 2019, CPAC, MCJ

The launch of the programme was attended by Sylvie Durán, Minister of Culture and Youth; Birgit Vleugels, Cooperation Officer of the Delegation of the European Union in Costa Rica, and Caroline Munier, Culture Programme Specialist of the UNESCO San José Cluster Office, as well as guests Silvia Lara, Minister of Labour and Social Security, and Claudio Arce, from the financial management of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social). Also present were representatives of partner institutions, key to the success of this project, such as the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade.

This event was followed by music sector organisations such as the Unión de Trabajadores de la Música, the Asociación Compositores y Autores Musicales, the Asociación de Intérpretes y Ejecutantes and the Centro Nacional de la Música.

“This project aims to expand the possibilities for the development of the music sector through greater access to national and international markets. We also hope that it will boost efforts to fully integrate the cultural sector into the formal economy, recognising the particularities of its work and the multiple economic and non-economic contributions that this sector makes to society as a whole,” said Caroline Munier, Culture Programme Specialist at the UNESCO San José Office.

Sylvie Durán, Minister of Culture and Youth, said that “this technical assistance from UNESCO and the European Union aims to strengthen the capacities and conditions of the music sector, an artistic field which, like the national creative and cultural community as a whole, has been severely affected by the pandemic. In its framework, we will be able to update our understanding of how this activity – the first to have been transformed by digitalisation (since the 1990s) – moves and to optimise our efforts, cross-sectoral work and use of public resources in the face of its challenges. The initiative is part of the Costa Rica Creative and Cultural Strategy 2030, which aims to promote the development of the Costa Rican creative and cultural industry by establishing an ecosystem that facilitates its development.

This project will be implemented by an international team of UNESCO experts in the fields of the music industry and social security during 11 months of work in which constructive spaces for dialogue, reflection and proposals will be articulated with representatives of the sector and the institutions involved. It is expected to contribute to the revitalisation of the Costa Rican artistic and cultural sectors, which have been affected in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to make visible the particular characteristics of cultural work and of cultural and artistic workers in the definition of important public policy instruments and insurance schemes.

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