Abu Dhabi will host the World Conference on Culture and Arts Education that is taking place from 13-15 February 2024. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the three-day event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre will welcome more than 190 ministers of education and ministers of culture from around the world to discuss a global framework for culture and arts education.

The UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education will provide a platform for member states, policymakers, UN agencies and other partners to adopt a Framework on Culture and Arts Education. The conference builds on the 2006 Lisbon Conference which delivered the UNESCO Roadmap for Arts Education, as well as the 2010 Seoul Conference which resulted in the Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education. The conference will also bring together delegates to exchange experiences and provide recommendations that could help anchor culture in education through integrated policies and creative practices.

His Excellency Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture for the UAE, said: “We have established a central force in the UAE to enhance knowledge exchange and promote understanding across cultures. Our dedication lies in facilitating crucial dialogues and providing assistance in fostering the cultural scene and arts education. Through our strong collaboration with UNESCO, we are confident that the outcomes of this gathering will lead to the implementation of a comprehensive cultural and arts education framework, ensuring its widespread adoption.”

His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi and Co-Chair of UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education, said: “Building on a legacy of driving sustainable impact, we are proud to organise this strategic milestone event that fosters dialogue within the global culture and arts education landscape. Aligning with the ideals of the conference, we continue to harness the power of programmes and partnerships that encourage lifelong education and skill-building within arts and culture while ensuring equitable access. The Framework for Culture and Arts Education will provide a clear guiding reference for Member States to drive this in and beyond school curricula. Working closely with our partners at UNESCO, we are confident that the outcome of this gathering will lead to the adoption of the framework so that it can be cascaded by the member states in their countries.”

The programme of the conference will discuss seven themes: equitable access to culture and arts education; quality and relevant lifelong and life-wide learning in and through cultural diversity; skills to shape resilient, just and sustainable futures; institutionalisation and valorisation of culture and arts education ecosystems; culture and arts education through digital technologies and artificial intelligence; partnerships and financing in support of culture and arts education; and monitoring, researching and data.

Through continuous commitment to cultivate the culture sector, DCT Abu Dhabi has integrated cultural education to safeguard both tangible and intangible cultural heritage practices. Promoting the art and culture creative industries, DCT Abu Dhabi drives the development of resources and mediation tools, including artists’ residency programmes and outreach initiatives. Additionally, the Department conducts annual training programmes for educators across various cultural disciplines. With several established cultural institutions and museums under its purview, DCT Abu Dhabi has instituted long-term educational programmes and initiatives that focus on equitable access, contributing to the creation of cultural spaces that encourage public engagement. 

The conference agenda also comprises a programme of events, performances, and interactive exhibitions including items that showcase elements of the UAE’s cultural heritage for delegates.

To learn more about the UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education, please visit: www.unesco.org/en/wccae2024 .