Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Première réunion du groupe d’experts sur l’avant-projet de Convention internationale concernant "La protection de la diversité des contenus culturels et des expressions artistiques" - (DG/2003/177)

Intervention de M. Koïchiro Matsuura, directeur général de l’UNESCO, Paris, UNESCO, le 17 décembre 2003 - 2003/12/17

On December 17, 2003, the Category VI group of experts at UNESCO held its first meeting on the draft international convention on “protecting the diversity of cultural content and artistic expression.” Noting that “preserving cultural diversity is part of UNESCO’s constitutional mandate,” Mr. Matsuura indicated that this group’s first task is to “bring all ideas to the table and discuss whether to retain or reject each objective, challenge, and possible direction.” After this preliminary step and once Executive Board approval has been obtained, “we can begin Phase 2, an intergovernmental discussion in which all member states will be asked for their point of view and will help develop the actual draft convention.” The director general asked that work during the first phase be split into “five main areas” that he believes “encompass the challenges of the future convention, including its objectives; the definition and scope of the protection of cultural diversity and artistic expression; the future convention’s ties to other international instruments, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of International Property Rights (TRIPs); mechanisms for cooperation and international assistance; and followup mechanisms to serve as a basis for enforcement.” In this respect, Mr. Matsuura invited participants to demonstrate “utmost open-mindedness and creativity so that new solutions may emerge to meet the needs so firmly expressed.” He also urged participants to “constantly bear in mind […] the terms of General Conference Resolution 32 C/34, which I intend to follow to the letter as my sole mandate from the governing bodies.” (Available in French only)