The Organization of American States (OAS) says regional ministers of culture have approved the Declaration of Antigua, Guatemala aimed at addressing “Technology, creativity, and innovation as an opportunity for developing and strengthening culture.”
The OAS said the declaration was approved during the 9th Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture, last week.
“The declaration recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the creative and culture sectors but highlights the potential of the sector to become consistent drivers of reactivation of economic activity, through the production, dissemination and/or commercialization of cultural and artistic services, activities and products of creative goods,” the OAS said.
It said the document is focused on specific commitments to: Ensure that technology, creativity and innovation are fundamental tools in the recovery of the creative and culture sectors post-COVID-19; adopt measures that encourage the use of technology and innovation to promote the collection, protection, preservation, and value of social memory, cultural and artistic heritage, and traditional and ancestral knowledge of the peoples; and promote additional and strengthen existing plans, programs and research projects with data collection instruments, data collection and analysis, including cultural statistics to understand the importance of the creative and cultural sectors by measuring their economic impact and contribution; and to improve support for evidence-based policy design to strengthen these key areas in member states.
The document also spoke to adopting measures that strengthen the links between the creative and the culture sectors; and encourage cooperation among countries on the use and leveraging of information, communication, digital, and other emerging technologies for strengthening heritage and cultural expressions particularly amongst micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
It also shares information on cultural development research models and other methods, which use technology to generate cultural products focused on pre-Colombian, Indigenous and Afro-descendant cultural heritage, as well as promote digital strategies to increase access for consumption and dissemination of cultural goods and services.
“After two days of conversations, speeches and exchange of ideas, the right time has come to take urgent action in our countries to rescue the culture and value it,” said Guatemala’s Minister of Culture and Sports Felipe Aguilar during the closing session on Friday.
“Actions should be aimed at institutionalizing rescue projects and enhancement of our cultures,” he added.
The OAS said the tenth Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Culture will be held in the Dominican Republic in 2025.