Skip to content

International Seminar: Cultural Rights and Peace in the City

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.

IFACCA: Head of Strategic Data & Knowledge

The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) is the global network of arts councils and ministries of culture, with member institutions in over 70 countries. IFACCA envisions a world in which arts and culture thrive and are recognized by governments and peoples for their contribution to society. The IFACCA Secretariat provides services, information and resources to member institutions and their staff – from senior executives and policy makers, to researchers, grant makers and administrators – as well as the wider cultural community.

In this newly created role, I oversaw the development of IFACCA’s new knowledge and data strategy designed to facilitate collaborative learning and adaptive capacity building across this global network. In parallel, I prepared original research on the impact of global migration and forced displacement on artists as well as the discussion paper and companion report for the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture.

UCLG 2nd World Culture Summit: Jeju, South Korea

The 2nd UCLG Culture Summit will take place May 10-13, 2017 in Province of Jeju, Republic of Korea. The Summit is the leading annual convening for municipal governments and key stakeholder groups concerned with advancing the essential role of culture in sustainable development. I will participate in an interactive panel that will examine different approaches to evaluating cultural aspects of sustainable development.

Entitled “Commitments and Actions for Culture in Sustainable Cities,” the 2nd UCLG Culture Summit will respond to the growing importance given to the nexus of culture, cities and sustainable development by international organizations and frameworks by focusing on the following themes:

Implementing Culture 21 Actions: How are cities in different world regions working to fully integrate culture in their sustainable development strategies, programs, and projects? What progress can we observe? What are the challenges?

Towards a Global Culture 2030 Goal: The Summit will review progress made towards the goals outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda and identify critical steps to strengthen global knowledge on culture and sustainable development long-term.

Cultural Rights and Local Alliances for Culture: Participants will learning from emerging efforts around the world to advance cultural rights and inclusive practices. Around the world, many cities have established participatory models of local governance have integrated cultural practices into sustainable development. Internationally, progress in the field of cultural rights is also being made by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, who will present current research at the 2017 Summit.