A great partnership that emphasizes the role of culture and heritage professionals as important actors to create sustainable cities and territories


One year after the signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the United Cites and Local Governments (UCLG), the partnership between the two international organizations remain strong. Two recent events have shown this good collaboration.

The UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, also known as Mondiacult 2022, was held in Mexico City from 28-30 September 2022, forty years after the first of its kind organised in Mexico City in 1982. The important gathering provided the opportunity for the two organizations to speak with ministers of culture and other local and regional leaders to explain the importance of advocating for Culture to have its own goal in future frameworks, and especially the post 2030 UN Agenda for sustainable development. As part of the many events organised by ICOMOS and UCLG, Jordi Pascual, coordinator of the UCLG Committee on Culture spoke at the ICOMOS-Mondiacult 2022 Culture Forum and shared UCLG’s perspective on the role of cultural heritage in democracy, citizen’s participation and sustainable development. Gabriel Caballero, ICOMOS Focal Point for the UN SDGs, participated at the #Culture2030Goal campaign events and highlighted the importance of the Mondiacult 2022 Conference as a good starting point to push for more cultural actors to be part of the global initiative to elevate culture as a goal after 2030. 

At the recently concluded 7th UCLG World Congress and Summit of Local and Regional Leaders – organised in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, from 10 to 14 October 2022 and which main outcome is the UCLG Pact for the Future of Humanity: for the People, for the Planet, for the Government- ICOMOS was also present to this important event where South Korean colleagues, Se Hoon Park and Hae Un Rii were part of the discussions on Culture and Climate, the future of cultural rights to shape new sustainable development and Culture in the Sustainable Development Goals. Se Hoon Park, ICOMOS Korea representative on the ICOMOS Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, highlighted that climate action, the promotion of cultural pluralism and intercultural dialogue, governance and civil society cooperation for cultural policies and culture as the 4th pillar of development were among the priorities of ICOMOS. Hae Un Rii, President of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Places of Religion and Ritual, presented various initiatives, included the rights-based approach working group ‘Our Common Dignity’ and the ICOMOS Declaration of Human Rights, which aims at building stronger relationships with communities and peoples to guarantee their inclusion in heritage decision-making.

It is evident that both organizations are committed to making cities and other urban areas more liveable, engaging and alive through local public policies on culture and heritage. Through shared activities and advocacy, UCLG and ICOMOS strengthen the role of culture and cultural policies as a key resource for communities, cities and territories of the future.