International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, 2021

African woman listening to musicIn 2019 at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, 2021 was declared the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Indonesia was the main sponsor of the proposal, which was presented by a global grouping of countries, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines and Thailand.

The proposal recognised the need to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation and provide opportunities, benefits and empowerment for all and respect for all human rights. 

It also identified the ongoing need to support developing countries and countries with economies in transition in diversifying production and exports, including in new sustainable growth areas, including creative industries.

It encourages all to observe the year in accordance with national priorities to raise awareness, promote cooperation and networking, encourage sharing best practices and experiences, enhance human resource capacity, promote an enabling environment at all levels as well as tackle the challenges of the creative economy. 

The full resolution is here.


Programme of activities to implement the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021

[Last updated 18/01/2021]






Beginning of January

Kick-off International Year of Creative Economy




19 January

Launch of the book: Creativity, Culture and Capital: Impact investing in the global creative economy 


Fundación Compromiso, Nesta, and Upstart Co-Lab in partnership with UNCTAD

25 January

Trade Policy Welcoming the International Year of Creative Economy

Geneva / Online

UNCTAD in partnership with the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Indonesia and of the Sultanate of Oman.

End of January (date to be confirmed)

ARTS SDGs Festival and Arts Envoy Tour



1 February

UNESCO launch of the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development during the 14th Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions 



7-11 March 2021

Cultural Summit

Abu Dhabi / Online

United Arab Emirates (UAE) in partnership with UNCTAD, the Economist, Google, the UK Royal Academy of Arts, the Guggenheim Museum, UNESCO, the British Council, and Louvre Abu Dhabi

15-21 March

Sustainable Innovation Forum

Surrey, UK / Online

UNCTAD and the Centre for Sustainable Design, University of Creative Arts, Surrey (UK)


26th Session of WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property – Discussion on IP and Creative Economy – Agenda Item IP and Development


Indonesia & UAE


2nd World Conference on Creative Economy

Bali, Indonesia

Indonesia supported by UNCTAD

21 May

One-day high-level thematic debate on Culture and Sustainable Development on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 

New York / Virtual

UN President of the General Assembly Office in cooperation with UNESCO and UNCTAD


Side event on Creative Economy on the occasion of United Nations HLPF on SDGs

New York


September 2021

TBC – Possible FCE Ministerial Meeting on the margins of the 76th Session of UN General Assembly

New York


2 to 8 October 2021

UNCTAD 15 Creative Economy Forum (CEF) and Ministerial Round Table

(CEF back to back with UNCTAD


Barbados & UNCTAD in cooperation with Indonesia and UAE

October 2021

Ad hoc Expert Meeting on Creative Economy and Sustainable Development

Geneva / Virtual

UNCTAD in cooperation with UN entities

December 2021

3rd World Conference on Creative Economy


United Arab Emirates


Meetings in Regional Economic Commission (ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA)


Addis, Geneva, Bangkok, Beirut

UNCTAD/ Indonesia