Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Xe Conférence des chefs d'État et de gouvernement des pays ayant le français en partage : Déclaration de Ouagadougou et Cadre stratégique décennal de la Francophonie - Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso, 26-27 novembre 2004

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), 27 novembre 2004 - 2004/11/27

The 10th Sommit of La Francophonie has adopted the « Déclaration de Ouagadougou », which reaffirms the major priorities of La Francophonie, "a unified community for sustainable development." In the declaration, heads of state and government of La Francophonie state that sustainable development rests on five pillars: "Controlled and sound management of natural resources; inclusive and continuous economic progress; equitable social development calling for tolerance and based on education and training; democratic guarantees and rule of law for all citizens, and an openness to cultural and linguistic diversity."

The complete respect for and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity constitutes one of the pillars of sustainable development in that it encourages populations to acquire knowledge and models of development that are respectful of cultures. To this end, heads of state and government declare:

  • We reiterate our desire to prevent cultural goods and services from being reduced to mere merchandise. We also resolve to continue to support the drafting at UNESCO of a International Convention on the protection of cultural contents and artistic expressions , for its adoption since 2005, its speedy ratification and effective implementation. We will take active steps to ensure that it recognizes the right of states and governments to adopt measures aimed at preserving and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions in their land. This convention must also stress an openness to other cultures and expressions.
  • We believe that in the current climate, the safeguarding of cultural diversity implies refraining from any liberalization commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding cultural goods and services to avoid compromising the effectiveness of measures aimed at promoting and supporting cultural diversity. We undertake to respect these same principles in bilateral and regional contexts.
  • Moreover, we intend to enhance the status of the role of creators in the dialogue on cultures and continue to support the production of cultural works in least developed countries and their distribution within francophone communities and throughout the world. We recognize the need for increased cooperation and new partnerships, particularly within La Francophonie, for the emergence of viable cultural industries in least developed countries, and the importance of facilitating the free movement of works and artists in francophone communities.

This declaration is accompanied by a Resolution concerning aid to least developed countries (LDC) in the sector of cultural diversity. In addition, the Cadre stratégique décennal (2005-2014) of La Francophonie underscores the pioneer role played by La Francophonie in recognizing cultural diversity and the dialogue of cultures and, in particular, acknowledges that it needs to acquire the necessary means to face the uniformizing tendencies of globalization and promote the safeguarding and development of cultural diversity. Thus, in order to preserve and promote cultural diversity, La Francophonie's programs and actions must aim to:

  • Increase the awareness of countries of the need to adopt national cultural policies and help them formulate them;
  • Accompany and support national and local production and the integration of cultural products, particularly audiovisual products, in distribution and marketing networks;
  • Continue mobilizing countries to promote the adoption at l'UNESCO and implementation of a convention effectively ensuring the protection of cultural contents and artistic expressions;
  • Promote cultural diversity and linguistic plurality in the use of information technology and actively participate in building an equitable information society that takes into account digital solidarity;
  • Increase cooperation with other partner linguistic regions. (Available in French)