In October 2016 Arts Council Malta in collaboration with IFACCA welcomed over 400 delegates from 90 countries to the 7th World Summit on Arts & Culture in Malta at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. Speakers and delegates explored the theme “At the Crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century” and addressed a number of critical issues from the impact of multilateral trade negotiations on cultural policies, to how we can advocate for freedom of expression and cultural rights.

There were 65 speakers: 7 from Africa, 14 from the America’s, 9 from Asia, 27 from Europe, 5 from the Middle East and three from the Pacific. World Summit delegates agreed that by working together at regional and global levels, much could be achieved.  Delegates were particularly inspired by keynote speaker Arn Chorn-Pond, founder of Cambodian Living Arts, who silenced the auditorium as he recounted how music saved his life during the atrocities of the Cambodian genocide, and how he overcame trauma by reaching others in disadvantaged situations through music and the arts. His message was clear and inspired delegates to a standing ovation: instead of a gun, every child should have access to a musical instrument, and we all need to work together for a better and more inclusive, peaceful world. The final session, moderated by Robert Palmer, on where to next, was also highly inspirational. 

The Summit's 12 Parallel sessions held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre enabled delegates to drill down on the details of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The final day of the Summit saw the official handover from Arts Council Malta to the National Department for Culture and Arts (JKKN) of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Malaysia, as the host of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, to be held in 2019.

For further information see the report here:
Photos by Therese Debono.