By Peterking Quaye ,from Ghana – The Regional Advisor for Culture, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Cluster Office, Accra, Ms. Moji Okuribido, has expressed worry over government’s inability to ratify the UNESCO Conventions.
Ms Okuribido speaking in an interview after a day’s seminar for Arts and Culture Journalists and Media Practitioners at the Susanna Lodge in Accra ,said the country stands to benefit immensely if it ratifies the conventions – UNESCO Conventions of 2005 and 2007.
The UNESCO Advisor attributed the delay to the low rate of awareness on the convention and the lack of importance the country has placed on it.
“I really think that maybe it’s the low awareness of the importance of the content of the convention and of course there is always the question of prioritization. So it is up to us to understand and to share our understanding with others.
“The ratification itself is just a process but what is important is the implementation; the implementation which presupposes that the content of the convention has to be domesticated and have to be inserted into national development policy,” she said.
Although the country is slow on the ratification, Ms. Okuribido revealed that a substantial effort is being made by interested persons to push the convention’s agenda.
“I wouldn’t say that the authorities haven’t done anything. What I can say is that there are some people who have been working on trying to move the agenda of ratification forward but it hasn’t been seen as a priority yet… My real and sincere hope is that once the importance is in the consciousness of everybody, the ratification will take place by the end of the year.”
Ghana will be able to access certain activities that the convention’s fund will finance, when it is ratified. The implementation will enable Ghana have a people based development – Implement the wishes of the people in conjunction with the development priorities of the country.
The seminar was attended by several media personnel from different media outfits and it was moderated by Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director for Media Foundation for West Africa.
Other personalities who made presentations at the seminar included Mr. Akunu Dake, Chief Executive, Heritage Development who was also the facilitator at the seminar.
Various speakers at the seminar, under the theme: Mainstreaming Culture in National Development, highlighted the significance of mainstreaming cultural heritage in national development.
Speakers brought to the fore the role of government and individuals.
They spoke about the need for a paradigm shift in education, recognition of the importance of Ghana’s indigenous languages and a clear-cut agenda for the creation of the necessary confidence in what is indigenous.
The highpoint of the seminar was the launch of a media campaign that will see an intensive national campaign that will raise awareness about the UNESCO Conventions to safeguard intangible cultural heritage and the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions.
The media campaign will begin in April and end in December 2011.
Writer: Arts & Cultural Journalist(ACCRACAN Member-Ghana)