UNESCO Final Simulation and Final Cultural Policy

That’s it folks.  My cultural policy class is finished.  It’s been an interesting semester to say the least, a bit chaotic a bit crazy.  I think I’m still processing the whole thing so I can’t exactly comment on my feelings about it at this point.  There were times when it was a great and times when it was not so great.  That being said I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the final assignment for this class.

The final assignment was a mock UNESCO convention.  Specifically on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.  Two weeks ago we were separated into groups and given a country to represent.  We were then charged with the task of researching and discovering the cultural policy practices of that particular country.  This was a huge project that was assigned and implemented in a very short amount of time.  As we have focused mostly on US cultural policy this semester this was a beast of an assignment to say the least.  We needed to be able to walk into the convention with a clear understanding of what our countries position was.  I love the idea of this, but the time constraints caused a lot of concern amongst students, to say the least.  Had we had more time I think the simulation may have run slightly more smoothly.

That being said it was overall a pleasant experience, and I do see the merit in the simulation.

We took language from the established convention and debating incongruencies, discrepancies, voted on amending language, entire sections, spoke on the ideals and shortcomings of current policies.  Basically we were able to, in a way, experience the inner workings of an international convention.

As I said there were definitely things that could be approved upon.  In the future I would have established country associations, and advisor contacts months before the actual event.  This would allow each representative to compile a greater wealth of information on their countries attitudes and positions.  I know that I would have felt as though I could better represent my country had this been the case.  And I think because of the scale and potential of this project we would have seen an even better outcome had we had a bit more time.

The simulation has so much potential, I hope that they continue that as a final project assignment.  I think next years class could really benefit from it.  Now that we know what works and what doesn’t work I hope that it will be even more successful that our convention was.

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