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ICT4Culture: Establishing a coalition Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity (BCCD)

Author's name: 
AHM Bazlur Rahman-S21BR
Dhaka

Establishing a coalition Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity (BCCD)

BACKGROUND
UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity is adopted by the UNESCO in 2001.

In succession of this another Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression was held in 2005. Meanwhile, we have come to know that the articles of the mentioned conventions have been ratified by the government of Bangladesh.

Being sad, it is true that hardly any awareness has been created among the concerned stakeholders in Bangladesh regarding UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression.
Notwithstanding, Cultural Policy has been drawn up by the endeavour of Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Hardly any consciousness regarding the mentioned Cultural Policy has been created among the concerned stakeholders. Consequently, the implementation of UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression has been remained neglected.

We have been going on the awareness program for long regarding ICT for Culture which is the part of implementation of the action plan of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

In this backdrop, we think that it is necessary to raise awareness and lobby widely among the concerned stakeholders and policy makers of the government concerning the mentioned UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression.

Conforming to that, we are going to form Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity (BCCD) in co-ordination with different stakeholders i.e. book publisher, film and radio, TV, music, performing art, visual art and multidisciplinary organizations. We hope, performing manifold procedures, it might be possible for us to present a full-fledged coalition committee and coming five year program since April 2009.

At present, BCCD’s limited programs are going on in a limited extent with collaboration of BNNRC.

We, BCCD, are requesting you to provide overall support and suggestion so that we can continue work with major substantiated matters of UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression thorough ICT

PURPOSE
To create a coalition entitled ‘Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity (BCCD)’

OBJECTIVES
Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity (BCCD) would fulfill the following objectives in order to create awareness on UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression:

1.Create a database of all cultural organizations like Book Association, Film and TV/Radio, Music, Performing Art, Visual Art, Multi Disciplinary and Practitioner NGOs in Bangladesh

2.Enable organizations to have a platform to meet and express their views, highlight best practices and challenges, Develop into a powerful pressure group for the Cultural Diversity

5.Enter into dialogue with the International Liaison Committee of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity; provide the unity that is essential for development in Culture

7.Disseminate information easily to all cultural industrial workers, especially on matters of copyright/ copy left/ open source/country commons/global commons and other Policy Matter,

9.Increase public-private sector partnership dialogue, Access finance for SMEs for their survival and growth, Educate members on entrepreneurial skills, Policy issues, national and regional issues and other skills

12.Enable integration into global markets, document all cultural works

14.Undertake professional planning and research program

STRATEGIES
To achieve the above objectives, the following strategies should be sought:

1.Invite the heads of all cultural organizations within Bangladesh (estimating 30-40) to a meeting at the earliest opportunity, and with at least 2 weeks’ notice with the assistance of Cultural Adviser of Ministry of Cultural Affairs and UNESCO.

2.The letter of invitation should state the objectives of such a coalition, Prepare a form for participants to fill in, to obtain their relevant particulars for the database. This form should be sent out with the invitation and handed in at the meeting.

4.Seek sponsorship for such a meeting, providing transport and possibly overnight allowances for out-of-town delegates. Possible sources of funding: UNESCO and other donors.

5.The purpose of the meeting would be to introduce the idea of the coalition, to work on key matters i.e. policy advocacy, education of marketing, copyright, entrepreneurial skills, research, planning, documentation.

6.Set a deadline for the execution of the above and manner of delivery of information (by email, phone, letter etc) invite just one speaker from UN, NGOs and other donor agencies who can talk on the marketing of cultural products.

OUTCOMES
The following outcomes are expected from this meeting:

1.A database of all cultural organizations is created, A coalition is formed which can link with the International Liaison Committee of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity

2.Information can begin to be available from a central source,

3.Plans for short, medium and long term can be formulated for educating the members on markets, finance etc. An expert can be requested to help with this.

4.Members can feed their ideas into this Coalition;

5.A small secretariat is established,

6.A web site of Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity (BCCD) is established;

7.An email group list (mailing list) is established;

8.A monthly Newsletter is arranged and published regularly;

9.Organize a National/ Regional (South Asian) 2 day forum on Cultural Diversity;

CONCLUSION
It is important to believe in the important role of culture in sustainable development, in particular for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and secondly in the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and Cultural Policy in Bangladesh.

IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION: to be supported by UNESCO
1.Translating the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity into Bengali;

2.Publish a bilingual booklet on the declaration;

3.BCCD (Bangladesh Coalition for Cultural Diversity) consultation meeting.

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