In Jeju, Global Cities Explain How Culture Makes Them More Sustainable Jeju

#Culture Summit

Proceedings of the first day of the second UCLG Culture Summit, hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (Republic of Korea), opened with addresses by WON Hee-ryong, the Governor of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, President of the Asia-Pacific section of UCLG (UCLG-ASPAC), and Vice-President of UCLG; Josep Roig, Secretary General of UCLG; and SIN Koan Hong, Chairman of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Council.


Culture is the medium that gathers people and brings meaningful change"  WON Hee-ryong

Culture always has been at the heart of UCLG as a core dimension of sustainable development. This Summit is a very good opportunity to learn from our diverse experiences". Josep ROIG

Culture always has been at the heart of UCLG as a core dimension of sustainable development. This Summit is a very good opportunity to learn from our diverse experiences.The recognition of culture as a fundamental dimension in sustainable development acknowledges that every person has the right to take part in cultural life. This idea was also stressed by the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights of the United Nations, Dr. Karima Bennoune, who delivered one of the opening speeches at the Summit, addressing the place of cultural rights in globalisation. Also speaking at the opening plenary was renowned Korean poet KO Un, often mentioned as a potential Nobel Laureate, who provided an inspiring vision on why culture matters in contemporary societies.

Culture is obviously created as spontaneous delight outside of the ruling system." KO Un

Cultural rights are a critical counterweight to any kind of extremism and fundamentalism. Culture and cultural heritage build bridges, not walls." Karima BENNOUNE

Representatives of a diverse range of cities from around the world, including Washington DC, Seoul, Lisbon, Montevideo, Makati, Malmö, Saint-Denis and Cuenca, took part in today’s sessions. In their contributions to the Summit, they stressed how access to and participation in cultural life for everyone, the protection of cultural heritage, and the promotion of creativity and diversity are essential elements in building sustainable cities.

Leading city representatives include the Councillor for Culture of Lisbon, Catarina Vaz Pinto and the Deputy Mayor of Malmö, Carina Nilsson. Sharing experiences in these areas is one of the core objectives of the 2ndUCLG Culture Summit, which will continue at the Jeju Culture & Arts Center, Jeju City, until Saturday 13 May, gathering over 500 participants.

Several of the participating cities are using the ‘Culture 21 Actions’ toolkit, which outlines 100 specific actions that cities can adopt to strengthen culture and its synergies with education, local economy, environmental sustainability, social inclusion and urban planning. Culture 21 Actions was adopted at the 1st UCLG Culture Summit, held in Bilbao in 2015. The 2nd UCLG Culture Summit allows cities, international organisations and experts to take stock of developments since then, identify best practices and plan next steps.

Among other themes addressed in the first day of the Summit was networking among Asian cities in the field of culture. In a session organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), existing networks discussed their experiences and how cultural networking in the region could be strengthened. Likewise, the International Federation of Arts Council and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), one of the world’s largest cultural networks, co-organised a discussion on the relations between local and national governments in the field of culture, where the results of a recent study were presented and discussed by speakers from several countries, including the Mayor of Jeju, KO Kyoungsil.

The day closed with presentations of the new UNESCO global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development, Culture Urban Future, by UNESCO’s Director of Creativity, Jyoti Hosagrahar; and the forthcoming Forum Creative Mobilities, to be held in Grenoble (France) next September, by Valeria Marcolin, the Co-Director of Culture et Développement.

Early in the day, participants in the Summit marvelled at a performance by dance company Mover. At the end of the day, dinner at the Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum also included performances by the Jerajin Boys and Girls Choir, Via Trio, and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Dance Company, thus enabling participants from around the world to become familiar with culture from Jeju.