Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: “This is a major step forward in a world in need of protecting cultural diversity and requiring a dialog of cultures that is respectful of all”

Jacques Chirac, President of France, Paris, Thursday, October 20, 2005 – 2005/10/20

At a press briefing on October 1 following the Convention’s adoption, Quai d’Orsay’s spokesperson stated that “We salute the adoption of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which the president of the Republic declared back in September 2002 to be one of our priorities. It is a triumph for French diplomacy, which has worked collectively for over three years to ensure adoption of this text. It is also a triumph for UNESCO and the European Union, for this result would not have been possible without the unwavering unity shown by the 25 member states and the Commission during negotiations. The Convention today takes its place among the founding instruments of international cultural law. (…) We call on UNESCO member states to support and ratify the Convention, so that it may come into effect at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The French president also saluted the Convention’s adoption by UNESCO, saying “Virtually all member states approved the text enshrining the right of individual states to develop and conduct cultural policies. This is a major step forward in a world in need of protecting cultural diversity and requiring a dialog of cultures that is respectful of all and in keeping with the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This Convention raises the hope that globalization will be more mindful of the identity of peoples. It is an encouragement to new cooperation with developing countries to help their cultural artisans and make their cultural offerings better known around the world.” President Chirac specifically asked the Government of France to “undertake the immediate ratification of this Convention and be particularly vigilant in seeing that the fight for cultural diversity continues in all arenas.”