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Minister for Digital and Culture reaffirms UK commitment to strengthen the role of culture in addressing the climate crisis at G20 Culture Meeting

Caroline Dinenage MP represented the UK at the first meeting devoted to Culture in the history of the G20, held in Rome on 29-30 July 2021.

Caroline Dinenage attended the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting in Rome, with Culture Ministers from the world’s leading economies in attendance. This was the first G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting to be hosted in person, following a virtual Culture Ministers’ meeting hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in November 2020.

The G20 Culture Ministerial was launched at the Colosseum by the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who delivered a speech recognising the importance of the cultural sector in Italy and the role of culture as a crucial engine for sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth globally.

Following interventions from all G20 members and observers, the Ministerial concluded at the historic Palazzo Barberini, with all associates unanimously adopting the ‘Rome Declaration of the G20 Culture Ministers’.

The Rome Declaration is a 32-point statement recognising that culture is an essential component for human development and plays an unparallelled role in fostering the resilience and the regeneration of our economies and our societies. It focuses on five priorities:

  1. The protection of cultural heritage and tackling illicit trafficking;
  2. Addressing the climate crisis through culture;
  3. Building capacity through training and education;
  4. Digital transition and new technologies for culture; and
  5. Creative industries as drivers for sustainable and balanced growth.

Caroline Dinenage delivered a keynote speech outlining the UK’s approach to addressing the climate crisis through culture.

In the margins of the G20 programme, Caroline Dinenage also held bilateral meetings with the lead representative for Culture from France, Spain, Germany and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Discussions explored cultural collaboration to support female leadership, artist mobility, diversity and inclusion within the creative industries, culture-led climate action, and international cultural heritage protection.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said:

Celebrating the role of culture in supporting diversity, inclusion and human rights was at the heart of the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting in Rome.

The UK recognises the huge potential that exists in particular for culture and digital technologies, and is committed to tackling the digital divide through our domestic and our international projects and policy platforms, ensuring that diversity and inclusion shapes our approach.

The UK is working to safeguard cultural heritage at risk recognising the vital part this plays in peace-building, security and stability all around the world, while advancing innovative, culture-based solutions to the climate crisis - in the UK, and in our international programmes.

Through these world leading programmes, and our COP26 Presidency in partnership with Italy, the UK looks forward to working with partners from across the globe to implement and support culture based climate action as set out in the historic G20 Rome Declaration.

The Minister visited cultural leaders and institutions in Rome to celebrate the special cultural relationship between Italy and the UK, and committed to building new creative partnerships in the coming years. The Minister also visited the Carabinieri to see Italian expertise in policing the illicit trafficking of cultural property; met Bishop Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and had a tour of the Vatican Library; visited the archives and artists’ studios at the British School in Rome; met Pinewood Studios and Netflix representatives during a film screening of The Dig, and interacted with a Virtual Reality experience at the Keats–Shelley Memorial House.

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