French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Paris, October 11, 2005 – 2005/10/11
“Because states have the legitimate right to adopt and implement the cultural policies that they deem necessary for the preservation and development of all cultures; Because developing countries are in need of assistance that supports their cultural industries; Because cultural productions are not simply commercial wares, and should not be treated as such under international agreements, despite the pressure of trade liberalization felt by many states regarding cultural goods and services; And because the diversity of culture and of cultures must be maintained, without fail,” artists proclaimed their commitment to cultural diversity at a conference held on October 10, 2005, by the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, which brought together 50 professional cultural organizations.
In this respect, they called for the adoption at UNESCO’s 33rd General Conference of the future Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions recognizing the legitimate right of states to adopt and implement the cultural policies that they think best for the preservation and development of all cultures. They also saluted UNESCO’s initiative in developing the convention and affirmed that “culture should be beyond the reach of liberalism and market laws.” A number also stressed the importance of “the screen quota policy” for the Korean film industry and the challenges it is facing because of pressure by the U.S. in bilateral trade talks with Korea. According to them, “The goal of the Convention on Cultural Diversity is to ensure a fair balance between cultures.” Others noted that “the UNESCO Convention was an exceptional opportunity to adopt an international legal instrument legitimizing the involvement of government in culture.” According to the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Convention on Cultural Diversity has repercussions for the fate of culture around the world, and artists will be affected first and foremost by the principles it upholds.