At the end of September 2022, ICOM was present at Mondiacult, the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, hosted by the Government of Mexico.
The meeting was an occasion for global culture ministers to meet and featured side events convened by a number of civil society organizations in the field of culture. ICOM was officially represented by Leonardo Mellado, President of ICOM Chile, on behalf of the ICOM LAC Regional Alliance. Katharine Turvey, Head of Capacity Building – Museums and Society at the ICOM Secretariat, also attended to participate in a side event co-organised by the Climate Heritage Network (CHN) partner organizations.
ICOM took the floor as an official observer at the thematic session “Culture for Sustainable Development”, seizing the opportunity to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Round Table of Santiago de Chile and to illustrate how the recently updated definition of the museum proposes a new framework for museums and policy makers that includes sustainability as a core mission for museums.
ICOM was also active alongside civil society organizations. As a co-organizer of the side event “Responding to the Climate Emergency: New Imperatives for Cultural Policy” ICOM joined a chorus of like-minded cultural organizations from across the globe advocating for the role of culture in climate action and sustainable development. Katharine Turvey took the floor to discuss the new definition of museums and its consultation process. She focussed on the consensus of museum professionals around the terms ‘sustainable’, ‘inclusive’, ‘diverse’ and ‘accessible’, as something that policy makers should take note of. The event was co-organized in cooperation with Culture 2030 Goal Campaign, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Instituto Metropolitano de Patrimonio de Quito (IMP), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the City of San Antonio, Texas.
The visit to Mexico was also an occasion to meet with the ICOM Mexico colleagues and to link up with other regional networks, such as Ibermuseos, which held its general assembly on 26 and 27 September at the Museo nacional de antropologia. During Mondiacult, the museum hosted an exhibition entitled “Transformar los museos. A 50 años de la aventura de Santiago”. Organized by the Mexican Coordinación Nacional de Museos y Exposiciones and the Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía, the exhibition looked back on the historic meeting hosted by ICOM and UNESCO in 1972 and explored how the round table fundamentally changed the social role of museums in Latin America and beyond.
ICOM’s participation in Mondiacult 2022 was a first step in the implementation of our new Strategic Plan 2022-2028, notably the Global Positioning and Climate Change objectives, and was an occasion to promote museums’ action on the Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action).