Bangladesh is home to prominent creative sectors and artists, and benefits from an avid local audience. The country is a globally renowned platform of contemporary cultural and creative based-research, events and exhibitions. To build on its established culture and creative industries, Bangladesh is embarking to elaborate its second quadrennial periodic report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention. The previous report, submitted in 2013, featured Bangladesh’s 2006 National Cultural Policy, which sets the overall framework for the organization of the culture sector in the country. Bangladesh’s second periodic report presents an opportunity to examine the challenges and successes over the last four years, engaging with civil society, the private sector, and professional associations in a participatory approach.
A national training workshop was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 6 to 7 November 2019, organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the UNESCO Office in Dhaka. Mr. Fahimul Islam, joint secretary in charge of culture, who underlined Bangladesh’s commitment to the 2005 Convention and the periodic reporting process, opened the workshop. The training sessions were led by Anupama Sekhar, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility, in collaboration with Mohammed Omer Aiaz, national consultant. The training consisted of presentations on the four goals of the Convention’s monitoring framework as well as in-depth examples of policies and measures from the region. Group work enabled the national team to discuss issues and examples as well as to share information. A first set of policies and measures was identified to be included in the periodic report.
On 7 November 2019, following the national training workshop, a multi-stakeholder consultation was held, gathering representatives from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, civil society organisations, private sector, media and various ministries and public institutions. The consultation was the occasion to organise a cross-sectoral networking session amongst participants to share information and build a community of practice, which sparked appreciation for best practices as well as for common challenges. Representatives from civil society organisations and the private sector were invited to present their work and to formulate recommendations for their respective sector. Five presentations were made from the following sectors: community radio, contemporary music, photography education, digital infrastructure, and fashion design. The consultation ended with an open discussion.