The metro-area municipality of Zapopan became the first in Mexico to sign a declaration with UNESCO (International Declaration UNESCO-Zapopan 2018) dedicated to “cultural policies for the sustainable construction and development of metropolitan communities.”
The manifesto is the culmination of four conferences held in 2017 between UNESCO officials and Zapopan academics, as well as various representatives from civil societies and the business community.
“Why not change the mentality of our politicians and society through investment in public policy, such as that which we just finished hammering out?” Zapopan Mayor Pablo Lemus asked at a recent ceremony. “Culture is the future of this city, of this state, and of this country.”
The selection of Zapopan by UNESCO is being seen, at least by Lemus, as a sign that the United Nations cultural organization sees the city as a beacon of hope in Mexico, a country perceived abroad as hopelessly mired in a quagmire of corruption and violence.
“‘Zapopan, City of Children’ isn’t a cheap publicity slogan; it’s policy for which we’ve budgeted many social programs,” continued Lemus. “Above all, it represents our intention to be a positive example not only here in Jalisco, but on a national level.”
The UNESCO-Zapopan declaration was divided into eight points of action, which are as follows: