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Talking Points:
Dr. the Honourable Lincoln Douglas, Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism


Heads of Missions Conference 2013
Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Wednesday February 27, 2013
3.45 pm

Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre



  • Honourable Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Members of the Media
  • Ladies and Gentlemen


Theme of Conference: “The New Role, Challenges and Prospects of Small States in advancing their Strategic Interests in the International System”

  • Discuss the Mandate of the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism: “To foster and ensure an environment where the diverse cultures of Trinidad and Tobago can flourish in a spirit of understanding, tolerance and harmony.”
  • As a result of the Ministry’s Mandate its Purpose includes the following:
  • Providing critical support to the cultural sector
  • Preserving the National Heritage
  • Strengthening our individual and collective identity as we build nationhood
  • To achieve the Mandate and Purpose, the Ministry provides the following services:
  • Subvention funding to National Organizations and Statutory Boards (TUCO, NCC, Pan Trinbago, Queen’s Hall, Naparima Bowl, NAPA and South NAPA).
  • Grant Funding to NGO’s
  • Construction and Refurbishment of Cultural Facilities
  • Provision of Cultural Contingents
  • The National Registry of Artistes and Cultural Workers
  • Preservation of National Heritage
  • Steelpan development and research
  • Vision 2016 for the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is:
  • Sustainable growth of the Arts and Culture Sector as an economic and cultural force
  • Improved image and visibility of Trinidad and Tobago regionally and internationally as a source and destination for creative arts and culture.
  • The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has identified the Arts and Cultural Sector as one of the seven sectors to assist in the economic diversification of T&T. The Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is one of the major drivers in the economic diversification process through the creative economy, which includes: arts, culture, masquerade, entertainment, folk art, festivals, music, books, paintings and performing arts. It also includes more technology-intensive subsectors such as film, broadcasting, digital animation and video games.
  • To achieve the mandate of the Ministry strategic partnerships with key Ministries and Governmental Agencies are required. Some of these stakeholders include:
  • Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration
  • Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Ministry of Community Development
  • Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training
  • UNCTAD 2006 research (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) indicates that the creative economy of Developing Countries is a feasible option for high economic growth. This is primarily due to the fact that creative industries generate cross-cutting linkages with the overall economy at macro and micro levels.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is well placed to support the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism in furthering its agenda through:
  • The strategic use of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture in the establishment, maintenance and enhancement of relations with strategic countries at the bilateral, regional and multi-lateral levels.
  • Facilitating increased cultural exchanges with strategic countries.
  • The effective use of Cultural Diplomacy. Cultural Diplomacy is defined as “A course of actions, which are based on and utilize the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture or identity, whether to strengthen relationships, enhance socio-cultural cooperation or promote national interests; Cultural diplomacy can be practiced by either the public sector, private sector or civil society.” Mark C. Donfried (Founder of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy).
  • Providing greater visibility and thereby enhanced economic viability for the creative sector of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Discuss the impact of your recent trip to Nigeria and the overwhelming response to the Steelpan. Explain the immense potential of the national instrument as an economically viable product and a useful tool in cultural diplomacy.
  • Highlight the reciprocal visit of the Honourable Chief Edem Duke, Nigeria’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, and Nigerian Cultural Leaders for Carnival 2013 as evidence of the successful trip made in November 2012 and also keen interest in the rich cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago.