In June 2022, UNESCO invited Parties to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, specifically, Small Island Developing Countries / States (SIDS), to participate in online training workshops on elaborating the Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) in a participatory manner. The workshop took place in September 2022 which saw participation from Parties in the Caribbean, namely, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The objectives of the workshop hosted by UNESCO were to sensitise participants on the 2005 Convention and the importance of submitting their QPRs as part of information sharing, as well as to discuss the need for involving civil society organisations, among other stakeholders in the Culture Sector in the reporting process. Parties to the 2005 Convention report every four years as one of their obligations.
Following the online training workshop in September 2022, UNESCO recommended that participants apply for technical assistance being offered to SIDS, to support the elaboration of their QPRs. UNESCO realised that the “common challenges” that SIDS have with being able to elaborate their QPRs, are the “lack of relevant data and information, limited capacity to assess and monitor the impact of policies and measures for the diversity of cultural expressions and fragile networking between governments and civil society”. The intention with this technical assistance is to support SIDS in the submission of their QPRs to UNESCO by 30th June 2023.
The Culture Division in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts submitted an application which was accepted, and coming out from this formed Trinidad and Tobago’s National Team for a collaborative approach to the reporting process as advised by UNESCO. This National Team consists of representation from the Ministries of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Education, Trade and Industry, Social Development and Family Services, Trinidad and Tobago’s Intellectual Property Office, and Bureau of Standards, the University of Trinidad and Tobago, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association, the Network of Rural Women Producers Trinidad and Tobago, among others.
With the support of UNESCO’s Diversity of Cultural Expressions Entity and the UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, key roles were assigned and a work plan developed to guide the execution of the technical assistance to meet the QPR submission deadline in June 2023. Trinidad and Tobago had the pleasure of being assigned Dr. Deborah Hickling Gordon from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, a communication and culture-in-development strategist and member of UNESCO’s Expert Facility. Our assigned National Expert was Dr. Suzanne Burke, from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, whose research focuses on Caribbean culture and specializes in cultural policies and programmes.
Both Dr. Hickling Gordon and Dr. Burke trained and guided the National Team to understand the goals and objectives of the 2005 Convention, its monitoring framework and reporting process during a capacity building workshop, which took place from 24th to 27th April 2023 at the Ministry’s Head Office and Queen’s Hall. It was an opportunity to fully appreciate the importance of teamwork, learn more about the policies, projects and programmes of our respective organisations and form connections that seek to last beyond the technical assistance from UNESCO and the submission of the QPR for Trinidad and Tobago.
The capacity building workshop was followed by a multi-stakeholder consultation on 28th April 2023 hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and UNESCO in the Little Theatre at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts. The consultation featured greetings from the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Simone Thorne-Mora Quinones, information about the technical assistance project from Cultural Officer II (Ag.), Ms. Daniella Carrington, a presentation on the 2005 Convention and the reporting process with a focus on how civil society organisations can contribute by Dr. Deborah Hickling Gordon, key findings from the capacity building workshop by Dr. Suzanne Burke, and concluded with a sounding board for audience feedback.
View a recap of the multi-stakeholder consultation to learn about the technical assistance project in Trinidad and Tobago, the 2005 Convention and its reporting process, and key findings from the capacity building workshop.
Link to video: https://youtu.be/V3klwGrXupQ
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts invites civil society organisations (CSOs) to contribute to our reporting process through the completing of the CSO form. This is an opportunity to be featured for the developmental work you have been doing in support of the 2005 Convention and represent Trinidad and Tobago!
Some resources we want to share are the QPR and CSO forms, the 2005 Convention and more, available HERE.
Please submit your completed CSO form to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9th June 2023.