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Delegates in Jamaica for UNESCO Creative Cities of Music meeting

Friday, February 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS)— Delegates from eight countries are in the island for the annual United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Creative Cities of Music Subnetwork Meeting being held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston from February 15 to 18.

The four-day meeting, which is being held in the Caribbean for the first time, aims to strengthen ties between designated Creative Cities of Music and serves as a platform for discussions on musical creativity.

Delegates attending include representatives from the cities of Hamamatsu, Japan; Katowice, Poland; Glasgow, Scotland; Amarante, Portugal; Adelaide, Australia; Hannover, Germany; Norrkopink, Sweden; and Daegu and Tongyeong, South Korea.

A key part of the discussions will centre on the Government's submission of a nomination dossier to inscribe Reggae on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage for Humanity.

Jamaica's nomination file, dubbed 'Reggae Music of Jamaica', was submitted in March 2017. It is anticipated that the genre may be inscribed in 2018.

The international protection instrument will ensure that the origins of Reggae and its derivatives are appropriately documented and safeguarded for present and future generations.

In her remarks at the opening ceremony, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, expressed the hope that the discussions will yield positive outcomes.

“I hope that the conversations and sharing that will arise during the course of the meetings will look at how cities that lack capacity in one area can be bolstered by other cities within the network that are able to provide support in technical areas of cultural mapping, cultural data gathering and cultural data analysis. I am sure that the music cities will find a model that can be replicated across your network of other creative cities,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kingston's Mayor, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, said the initiative is important for the development of Jamaica's reputation as a Creative City of Music, a designation that was bestowed by the UNESCO in December 2015.

“We have a competitive advantage as a city in the creative industries, and we have to use that advantage to the benefit of the city's economy. We are committed to building the creative industries in order to build the economy of the city and the economy of our country,” he said.

Director and Representative of the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office, Yuri Peshkov said the meeting is timely, coinciding with the annual Reggae Month celebrations in February, pointing out that “that gives us the opportunity to share experiences in the emerging and vibrant creative music sector”.

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