At UNCTAD XI in 2004, the topic of creative industries was introduced for the first time into the international economic and development agenda, on the basis of recommendations made by the High-level Panel on Creative Industries and Development. Member States agreed on mandates and called on the international community to support efforts of developing countries to foster, protect and promote their creative industries for development gains (Sao Paulo Consensus, paras. 65 and 91).
At UNCTAD XII in 2008, the first Creative Economy Report 2008 was launched and a High-level Panel on the Creative Economy took stock of progress made on the policy and research agenda surrounding the creative economy, recognizing that UNCTAD's work in this emerging area should be pursued and enhanced.
Against this background, the High-level Policy Dialogue on the Creative Economy at UNCTAD XIII aimed to further support Governments to enhance their creative economies, as a feasible development option for advancing socio-economic growth, trade and innovation. Debates focused on the main findings and policy recommendations of the Creative Economy Report 2010.
The purpose of the event:
Over the last decade, the topic of creative economy became established in the international economic and development agenda, calling for new insights and policy responses. The creative economy generates jobs, innovation and trade, while contributing to social inclusion, cultural diversity and environmental sustainability.
How to put in place appropriated policies, including trade policies, for the optimal functioning of the creative economy in our knowledge-based society?
How to attract investors, provide access to technology and stimulate innovation and creative business, to promote a vibrant creative economy?
How the creative economy and the green economy can be mutually supportive and provide a win-win solution?
How to unlock the marketing and distribution channels for music, digital animation, films, news, advertising, etc., thereby expanding the economic benefits of the creative economy?
How to deal with sensitive areas, including the need to revisit the legislation around intellectual property rights and adapt it to the new realities of the creative economy?
How to promote development that is both sustainable and inclusive and reflects the lifestyle of the contemporary society?
The Panel discussed policy strategies, multilateral processes, national experiences and concrete initiatives for enhancing their creative economies. It reviewed the work undertaken by the UNCTAD secretariat in fulfilling its mandate on this topic, identifying areas for possible international cooperation. The role of UNCTAD in promoting a creative economy was reasserted in the Mandate of Doha.
Participants and panelists included the Ministers and high-level officials from Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Finland, Nigeria, Thailand and South Africa. The Panel was chaired by the Minister of Arts and Culture of Qatar, President of UNCTAD XIII, and moderated by a journalist from the Al Jazeera Network.
Contributions from national delegations and representatives from the creative industries business, media and civil society enriched the debates.
UNCTAD has been collaborating with relevant United Nations agencies such as UNDP, UNESCO, WIPO, ITC, UNAOC, as well as the United Nations Regional Commissions. Other agencies include WTO, OECD, OAS, the World Bank, MERCOSUR, African Union, British Council, Francophonie Organization, and others.