The Arab Cultural Policy Group (ACPG) calls on artists, cultural activists and players, academics, members of civil society organisations and other concerned individuals and groups to join its call for the protection of cultural heritage and cultural rights and freedoms in the Arab region. The ACPG has addressed this appeal to the UN, including UNESCO, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNRWA and other major international bodies operating in the Middle East, including the European Commission.
Founded in 2011 by cultural activists and artists from 12 Arab states and as an initiative by Culture Resource’s Cultural Policy Program, ACPG seeks to develop the environment for cultural work in the Arab region. Towards this end, the group monitors, assesses and develops cultural policies in view of their major impact on guaranteeing the freedoms of expression and creativity and building democratic policies that safeguard cultural rights and freedoms. The ACPG is made up of representatives from twelve Arab countries, which include Algeria, Jordan, Sudan, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Mauritania. The Group launched this appeal in response to the discussions that took place at its fifth annual meeting held in Beirut in December 2015.
This call emphasizes the urgent need to safeguard cultural rights and heritage in light of the continuing political tensions and upheavals in the region. As well, this call is an opportunity to alert international organizations working in cultural rights, heritage, humanitarian relief and refugee rights to their responsibilities towards:
- Ensuring that the support for and protection of culture is included as a key component in any and all programs concerning social and economic development, humanitarian relief, conflict settlement, reconstruction, education and health;
- To work towards the protection of the physical and intangible cultural heritage in the Arab region;
- To provide opportunities for education and culture in countries of asylum;
- And, to work to protect freedoms of artistic expression and creativity and all other cultural rights, and especially the rights of minorities.
The ACPG calls on artists, intellectuals, cultural stakeholders and all cultural organisations and societies in the Arab region to add their names to this call and widely disseminate it.
To view the details of the call and to add your signature, please visit here.