News & events > Australia and UNESCO sign MOU | plan first joint cultural diversity project
09 Nov 2012

Australia and UNESCO sign MOU | plan first joint cultural diversity project



The Australian Minister for the Arts Simon Crean has welcomed a new agreement between the Australia Council and the United Nations to promote cultural diversity across the Asia-Pacific. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between UNESCO and Australia Council for the Arts.

Mr Crean said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) regional bureau in Bangkok will support the cultural exchange objectives of the recently released Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

“The MOU will build on strong cultural links that already exist with our Asia-Pacific neighbours by supporting new international collaborations between artists, partnerships and research,” Mr Crean said.

“Relationships built on cultural understanding and a shared appreciation of the arts and creativity are the basis for building economic, political, security and trade links and outcomes.”

The memorandum will assist in the implementation of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression signed by Australia in 2009.

“Australia is proud to be a signatory to an international agreement that seeks to ensure artists and citizens worldwide can create, produce, disseminate and enjoy a broad range of cultural goods, services and activities,” Mr Crean said.


The first joint project between the Australia Council for the Arts and UNESCO Bangkok will look into how culturally diverse artworks are created in Australia. The Diversity of Cultural Expression (DICE) project in partnership with the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at the University of Western Sydney is the first project under a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations to promote cultural diversity in the Asia-Pacific. The DICE Project will research and analyse up to six significant Australian art projects that explore the intersection of diverse cultural expressions across a range of art forms and practices.

Professor Ien Ang, the Director of the ICS said:  “This research opportunity allows Australian researchers and artists to be at the forefront of the debate on cultural diversity under the 2005 UNESCO Convention. We at the ICS look forward to understanding the dynamics of how critically acclaimed culturally diverse artworks are created in Australia.”

Through the MOU the Australia Council and UNESCO will support international collaboration, partnerships, research, and the promotion of the diversity of cultural expression in our region. It will assist both organisations to implement UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, to which Australia became a signatory in 2009.

The MOU follows recommendations at the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture held in Melbourne in 2011, where over 500 delegates from 70 countries requested that governments ‘commit to activating and implementing the spirit and principles of the Convention… and deliver on its objectives by making it central to national, state and local cultural policies’.

Read full information from UNESCO

Read full information from Australia Council for the Arts