Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals

27 April 2022

Presented by CP3 and Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

Watch the recording here:


Chair: Justin O’Connor, CP3 and Reset

In 2015 the United Nations General Assembly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, “a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable development for all” and set to be achieved by 2030. However, despite lobbying from many cultural organisations and UNESCO itself, Culture failed to become a distinct goal. 

Whilst pragmatically seeking to identify a role for culture in the other goals (such as education, economic development, sustainable communities, climate change), the lack of a cultural goal was experienced as a real setback. As the SDGs provide a focus for the activities of a range of national and international development agencies, and allow collaboration between them, many feel that the cultural sector is severely hampered by being excluded. For this reason many in the sector are calling for the addition of a cultural goal 18.

In this seminar we bring together four leading experts from Europe, lead contributors to a recent EU sponsored report on Culture and the SDGs. They will introduce the debate to those in Australia who might be unfamiliar with the SDGs and outline the challenges we face in articulating a new cultural SDG. At the same time, drawing on their report, they will suggest ways in which the role of culture is more important that ever in helping humanity achieve the SDGs on a planet rapidly running out of time.