At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 member States adopted the Millennium Declaration, which pledged to reach the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. In 2006, the UN and the Government of Spain signed a landmark agreement to provide fund over the next four years through the UN system, towards key Millennium Development Goals and related development goals in select sectors and countries.
The MDG programme aims to accelerate progress towards attainment of the MDGs in selected countries, including China. The three-year CDPF MDG-F Programme commenced in China on 4 November 2008 and provides a unique opportunity to support China to implement rights-based approach to development for minorities.
The CDPF MDG-F Programme focuses on the following MDGs:
Goal 0: Millennium Declaration: an enabling environment (human rights, democracy and good governance)
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Promoting development for ethnic minorities can challenge the survival of their traditional cultures and the environment in which they live. Not only would this loss deprive China of the vast cultural wealth these cultures represent, but also it would contribute to the depletion of the world’s reservoir of cultural and natural heritage. The Programme, by focusing on creating ways to integrate the diverse cultures of the ethnic minorities into the development framework, seeks to identify practical models to preserve their rich and diverse cultures and identities in the midst of development, and to identify ways to assimilate these models into policy at higher levels. Eight UN agencies are working together to implement the Programme.
This Joint Programme aims to address the integration of culture into development specifically for China’s ethnic minority population. The project framework has two primary aims. The first aim is to support China in designing and implementing policies that promote the rights of its ethnic minority groups in four of the provinces in which they are concentrated: (i) Yunnan; (ii) Guizhou; (iii) Qinghai; and (iv) Tibet. This will be achieved by: building government capacity to undertake rights and culture-based development; and, building the capacity of minority communities to participate. The goal is also to enable ethnic minorities to exercise further their rights in all aspects of development. The second is to empower ethnic minority groups in these four provinces to strengthen and manage their cultural resources, and thereby, benefit from culture-based economic development.
The Programme will contribute to:
- Strengthening awareness of the needs of ethnic minorities and of the importance – economic and otherwise – of cultural diversity;
- Promoting and making possible quality and culturally sensitive education for ethnic minority children;
- Supporting the creation of policy promoting linguistically and culturally appropriate maternal and child health care;
- Fostering improved access to the labour market;
- Strengthening the local capacity of the ethnic minorities for protecting and utilizing their cultural resources; and
- Promoting cultural-based economic growth, including tourism.
ILO activities will focus on two areas:
1. Inclusion issues of minorities are better addressed through culture-based economic empowerment and non-discrimination. Decent work is the best route out of poverty, but for some populations this route can be blocked by discrimination and poor working conditions. A platform will be established to address discrimination in the workplace, improve ethnic minority access to decent work, and contribute to their greater socio-economic inclusion. To achieve these ends, awareness-raising activities and training among relevant stakeholder groups – including government institutions and ethnic minority communities – will be held. Special attention will be given to addressing the needs of ethnic minority women seeking to enter the workplace. Research on human trafficking suggests that ethnic minority women are more vulnerable, and are disproportionately at higher risk for being exploited than are ethnic minority men and women in the majority population.
2. Culture Based Local Economic Development (LED) and livelihood creation through: (i) the provision of entrepreneurship and business development services, and (ii) strengthening the policy and institutional environment for ethnic minority arts and crafts sector. Economic opportunities and livelihoods will be created by working together with the ethnic minorities to identify potential economic opportunities which are based on, and derive from, their cultural traditions. The opportunities will centre on community-based cultural tourism and the strengthening of associated creative industries, with a focus on arts and crafts. The policy, regulatory and institutional environment for culture-based activities will be enhanced, and technical and awareness raising training will be provided to a range of stakeholders, including members from the ethnic minority communities.
For further information please contact:
Mr Deng Baoshan
National Project Coordinator
ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia
Tel: +86 10 6532 5091