Amplifying the Vital Role of Culture: UCLG Culture Summit Comes to Dublin Announcing Initial Summit Speaker & Programme Details


28 November – 1 December, 2023


Today, Tuesday October 24th, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in partnership with Dublin City Council reveal the first programme details including the names of a wide-array of local and international speakers participating in the 5th UCLG Culture Summit, taking place in Dublin from 28th November to 1st December.  The summit represents the most relevant forum for the global movement that demands the inclusion of culture as an indispensable dimension of Agenda 2030, as a dedicated  Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

UCLG is the largest organisation of local and regional governments and their associations, representing and defending their interests on the world stage. The UCLG Culture Summit is both a collaborative platform and the main meeting point at a global level of cities, local governments and organisations committed to the effective implementation of policies and programmes on culture and sustainability. Over three days, 500 delegates and more than 100 speakers from across the world will gather to discuss and emphasise that culture is and must be recognised as an integral part of sustainable cities, sharing of experiences and innovations from cities across the world.

Delegates will be able to both learn from and share their own experiences, participating in indepth discussions at sessions which include:

Engaging in the advocacy for a Culture Goal in global development agendas to guarantee culture as an integral dimension of people-centred sustainable development. Culture, Climate and Eco Transitions will connect the climate emergency with cultural policies. Keys To Gender Equality In Cultural Policies will promote the fundamental role that gender equality has begun to play in cultural policies. While Culture, Health and Wellbeing will present scientific evidence of how the correlation between wellbeing, good health and active cultural activities has multiplied in the last 2-3 years. Public Spaces, Communities, Trust, Artists will tackle the importance of the public space and how post Covid we need to reinstate the role of and need for public space. Tourism, Creative Industries and Cultural Sustainability will delve into local conversations on how culture shapes the future of cities and territories and how it can attract tourism and investment.

Finally, the Summit will provide the space to learn about which cities are leading the global conversation on cultural rights at the High Impact Partnerships For Cultural Rights session, towards the unfolding of the UCLG Pact for the Future of Humanity: for the People, for the Planet, for the Government.

Speakers visiting Dublin for the UCLG Culture Summit include, among many others:

Alexandra Xanthaki, UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights Enrique Avogadro, Minister for Culture, Buenos Aires Catalina Valencia, Secretary for Culture, Bogotá Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir Heehyon Kim, Vice Governor, Special Self-governed Province of Jeju Carine Rolland, Deputy Mayor for Culture, Paris Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director General for Culture, UNESCO Catherine Magnant, Head of Unit for Cultural Policies, European Commission (TBC) Emilia Sáiz, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments John Crowley, author of the Culture2030Goal draft for a Culture Goal Daisy Fancourt, London College, author of WHO report, winner of the 2022 International Award UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21 Yarri Kamara of the UNESCO Panel on Cultural Diversity Sabrina Dekker, Climate Action Coordinator at Dublin City Council As well as representatives from European Capitals of Culture 2023, Elefsina (Greece) and Timişoara (Romania), and from the African Capital of Culture 2022-2023 Rabat (Morocco)

The UCLG Culture Summit is the place to share and discuss, bringing all stakeholders in the room, not only those that have already worked together, but also new voices and champions to ensure a future for the younger generations. While in Dublin, delegates will discuss the current position of culture in global agendas and the most relevant examples of innovative and effective cultural policies, programmes and actions from all corners of the world will be invited to explain contexts, keys of success and challenges.

Speaking about the summit, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. said: ‘I am very pleased that Dublin will host the UCLG Culture Summit this year. The Summit provides a platform for international exchange on important topics, while further highlighting the significant role that culture plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The programme includes a vast range of interesting topics such as climate change, gender equality and health and wellbeing. With delegates from 150 countries participating in these discussions it is sure to be an interesting exchange of views and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the discussions’

Richard Shakespeare, Dublin City Council Chief Executive, said: “Dublin City Council looks forward to hosting this global event about cultural rights. In hosting the Culture Summit UCLG recognises Dublin City Council’s innovative work in culture and for which we were awarded the UCLG Culture Award in 2022, acknowledging Dublin City Council Culture Company and the broader City Council’s work on the relationship between culture, sustainable development and caring societies. Dublin has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to being an active and visible part of a global movement that is placing culture at the heart of development. With more than 100 speakers from across the globe programmed as part of the UCLG Culture Summit, I am looking forward to listening to the voices of and participating in conversations with those who have similarly directly experienced culture and creativity as a driving force for change.”

Emilia Saiz Carrancedo, Secretary General of UCLG, added: “UCLG has a long-standing commitment to promote culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. Indeed the transformation we need towards a sustainable future needs culture at the heart of community and policy making. The Culture Summit provides the opportunity to hear from the leaders around the world in this field. Voices like that of Dublin, which has taken a lead and implemented a pioneering model of connecting people with culture through Accessibility, Wellbeing and Evidence. It will also allow for connections between culture policies and the future of the social contract with care at its core.”

The Summit will provide space and time to debate about the contribution of cultural policies in the unfolding of the UCLG Pact for the Future. It will show that cities are leading the way in recognizing the absolute necessity of cultural factors as a key dimension of sustainable development, today and tomorrow. The Summit is designed to be a moment of knowledge- sharing and learning for participant cities and local governments towards strengthening local action for a sustainable future for all.

Further speaker and programme details will be released in the coming weeks. For more information and to register, please visit

– ENDS –

For further media information and interview requests, please contact THE HIVE Agency:

Nigel Goggin: [email protected] | +353 0876041161

Kerryann Conway: [email protected] | +353 0868215246



UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the world organisation of local and regional governments and their associations, representing and defending their interests on the world stage. UCLG’s membership serves 70% of the world’s population and is present in all world regions. UCLG’s key areas of political interest are: local democracy, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, culture in sustainability, local finance, urban development and city diplomacy in peace building.

Visit and follow @uclg_org for more.

The UCLG Culture Committee

The mission of the Committee is “to promote culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development”. The Committee promotes local cultural policies as a key asset in any strategy for local development and sustainability. Culture is at the core of processes that widen the freedoms and rights of citizens and build local identity. Culture is also a strand of global solidarity and fraternity, and a vector for peace and human rights. The activities of the UCLG Committee on Culture are based on the first-ever cultural rights-based toolkit for cities: “Culture 21: Actions”. This practical toolkit is currently used by cities around the world in peer-learning and capacity-building programmes. The UCLG Committee on Culture is a leading global actor in research, communication and advocacy on issues related to culture in development, mainly with the advocacy campaign #culture2030goal. The campaign recently released the “Culture Goal” proposal, a complete “zero-draft” for culture to become one of the SDGs in the near future. Also, the UCLG Committee on Culture and Mexico City organises the biennial International Award ‘UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21’, which recognizes significant cities and individuals in the field of culture and sustainable development. This Award was won by Dublin in 2022, with the programme “AWE – Cultural Engagement through Accessibility, Wellbeing and Evidence”. Dublin had received a Special mention of the Jury in 2018 for the project “Culture Connects”.

Visit and follow @agenda21culture for more.

Dublin City Council

Dublin is a major European Union capital city with a vibrant culture and an innovative economy.  Dublin City Council is at the heart of shaping the city by providing a diverse, multi-layered and evolving range of services for citizens, businesses, the community and visitors to Dublin. Dublin City Council and its employees provide over 500 services across key functional areas of housing, community, planning, development, environmental, roads and traffic, leisure and culture services.

For further information on Dublin City Council please log onto