United Cities Local Governments (UCLG) is the leading global platform on culture and sustainable development. In addition to it’s global forum, held every two years, UCLG’s Culture Committee hosts a unique database of good practices on Culture in Sustainable Cities, and provides municipalities with learning, capacity building, advocacy, and networking programs to support the development and implementation of cultural policies and advancement of the UN Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.

In October 2018, UCLG convened a diverse cross-section of government officials, international civil society groups, cultural leaders, activists, and academics who work at the intersection of cultural rights and sustainable local development for the seminar, “Cultural Rights and Peace in the City.” The seminar’s objectives were to:

  • Discuss the specific implications of cultural rights at the local level, and their relation with the generation of conditions for peace in communities.
  • Disseminate the examples of local policies, from cities all around the world, that are already contributing to the exercise of cultural rights in the city.
  • Explore the connection between cultural rights, equitable access to the city, and sustainable development in cities.
  • Highlight the importance to advocate for the cultural component in the international agendas (Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda.


Against the dynamic backdrop of Mexico City, the seminar combined high-level debates, case studies, storytelling, and intimate discussions about issues related to culture and peacebuilding. The conclusions of the events, as well as the CDMX Statement on Culture and Peace, will be presented during the closing session, in the public context of the Zócalo Book Fair.

Kiley Arroyo was invited to present on behalf of IFACCA, drawing on her experience working at the nexus of culture, equitable development, and social justice. This presentation examined whether enduring peace can exist without justice and ways culture can contribute to positive social transformations.