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Senator Donna Scott-Mottley has hailed the Culture Division of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, for leading the charge to protect the country’s cultural industries.
This is being done by adhering to an international process, which seeks to maintain the rights of governments to create policies for the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions. Mrs. Scott-Mottley, who was making her contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on March 17, spoke on the promotion of cultural identity and diversity, as well as the promotion of cultural industries and entrepreneurship.
She pointed out that the protection and promotion of the country’s indigenous cultural practices was being pursued by the Jamaican government, which had thrown its support behind “the process of articulation, consultation, and finally, approval of the Convention of the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Expressions in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in October 2005”.
Explaining the purpose of the Convention, the Senator said that it “enshrined the rights of states to elaborate cultural policies for the promotion of cultural diversity, provided by legal international instruments; the rights of states to utilise such constructs as subsidies, content quotas, and co-production agreements to build cultural industries.”
“This is of course vital to us,” she continued, pointing out that the Convention provided a framework for Jamaica to build its cultural industries. She said that Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) was actively engaged in the UNESCO-proposed process, and the organisation had embarked on “dialogue with Caribbean and Commonwealth media representatives, aimed at engaging the media in promoting the new discourse for emphasis on cultural industries”.
Senator Scott-Mottley noted that JAMPRO’s new focus on creative industries created the platform for the shifting focus that was being promoted within Jamaica’s cultural policy.