The Hilton Barbados, location of the 8th Organization of American States’ (OAS) Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities. (FP)

Barbados will host the eighth Organization of American States’ (OAS) Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities at the Hilton Hotel, from September 19 to 20.

The theme of the meeting is Strengthening the Creative Economy and Culture Sector: Repositioning the Culture Sector to Secure Sustainable Development

And, according to a ministry official, “it underscores the importance of harnessing the power of the Creative Economy and Culture Sector to support jobs and growth; to safeguard and promote cultural forms that can contribute directly to many of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The international meeting will attract close to 200 participants from the hemisphere who will have the opportunity to network, share best practices and discuss emerging trends in cultural development.  It is also expected to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and the reviewing of policy developments in culture and the creative economy, to tackle the emerging challenges and opportunities in the sector.

 “Coming out of the conference, there will be a plan of action for strengthening and developing the creative economies of OAS Member States,” the official revealed.

Topics on the agenda include the development of sustainable creative industries; promoting the development of cultural policies for sustainable creative industries; safeguarding cultural heritage and developing intersectoral linkages for sustainable growth.

The September meeting will be the second OAS Ministers of Culture Meeting to be held in Barbados since 2008.  It is expected to be beneficial to the Caribbean, as member states are seeking to develop orange economies as a means of diversifying their economies.

It follows on the heels of a CARICOM Meeting of Ministers of Culture held in Guyana in June 2019 that reiterated the need for CARICOM members states to make a paradigm shift in how culture is viewed, and to adopt the Draft Regional Development Strategy and Action/Implementation Plan for the Cultural Industries in CARICOM.

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