Integration of culture in sustainable development policies
One of the visions of the Finnish national strategy for sustainable development “Towards sustainable choices” (2006) is the following;
“The Finland of the future will be a more multicultural country than today. Difference also has to be seen as an opportunity for new learning and cultural interaction, and subsequent growth in innovativeness. Immigrants are an important resource and their good rate of employment is important for Finnish society’s social cohesion. Knowledge, understanding and respect for different religions and philosophies will reduce the chance of conflicts.“
The strategy for sustainable development will be renewed within a year. The aspect of culture will be inserted in the strategy even in a more coherent way.
With a view to promoting culture and its sectors in development cooperation and in development policy, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs cooperate in order to promote cooperation between administrative sectors and ministries in order to assure an effective and coherent development policy.
Finland has supported projects promoting effective copyright systems in developing countries through cooperation agreements concluded with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation). The Ministry of Education and Culture provides training in Finland for copyright experts and authorities from emerging economies and developing countries.
The financial support granted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for development policy projects in culture is mainly targeted to the main development cooperation partners and to other countries of major importance for Finland. The aim is to support multiculturalism and better living standards by means of enhancing interaction and cultural identity.
Cultural projects carried out within development cooperation are an added asset in Finnish development policy. They have enabled cooperation to be carried out at the grassroots level for the benefit of children, young people, students and some disability groups. As an example of results obtained, we can single out competence building and employment among young people in media and information technologies and confidence building and the promotion of equality among women.
Projects funded from the appropriations for local cooperation, which are managed by the representations of Finland, are designed to promote cultural development in the host country and build up the capacity of local cultural operators. They are also intended to achieve lasting development effects. Development cooperation carried out by civic organisations is also supported.
In country- and region-specific cooperation, Finland has mainly financed multiannual projects carried out within the Anna Lindh Foundation in Algeria, among others, and projects seeking to preserve immovable cultural heritage in Sub-Saharan Africa.