Garry Neil, Coordonnateur du RIDC, juillet 2004 - 2004/07/19
The July 2004 newsletter (Vol. 5, No. 7) of The International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD)
includes a report by INCD coordinator Garry Neil on the latest developments at UNESCO concerning the draft Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Content and Artistic Expression. Mr. Neil notes that in June 2004, UNESCO distributed to other UN agencies a preliminary text on the Convention produced at the third and final meeting of the Committee of Experts. The text apparently underwent several revisions following comments by these agencies, and UNESCO’s initial final draft will be published on July 12, 2004. It will be presented to governments for discussion and negotiation at an initial intergovernmental meeting in Paris from September 20 to 25, 2004. The UN-accredited NGO coordinating committee will call for comments on this preliminary text and convene its own meeting on September 15 and 16, 2004, also in Paris.
INCD has adopted the following strategy with regard to the text: The steering committee will prepare a policy statement and factsheet for distribution to all UNESCO delegations and NGOs; for countries with INCD members, the accompanying letter will be signed by the Secretariat and all members; at the same time, INCD will urge all delegations to support the draft Convention and join it in ensuring that the Convention respects the established objectives.
Mr. Neil also reviews the Convention’s key objectives from a civil society perspective: It must protect the sovereign right of member states to support their own artists, producers, and cultural institutions and therefore have the same status as trade agreements; it must encourage the development of cultural resources and innovative cultural industries within states that have significant artistic traditions and cultural expressions but lack the means to make their history, music, and artistic creations available to a wider audience under current cultural industry canons; it must also include specific measures to encourage a more balanced exchange between cultures. In closing, Mr. Neil invites all members to immediately review the preliminary texts and INCD documents to be sent by the end of the month. 
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