UNESCO, September 23, 2005 – 2005/09/23
The 172nd session of UNESCO’s Executive Board got underway at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on September 13 and will continue through September 29. Director-General Koichiro Matsuura was re-elected by members of the Executive Council for another four-year term at the head of the organization. At the Council’s recommendation, he will be named Director-General at the next General Conference.
In response to the general policy debate, Mr. Matsuura declared that the Convention on the Protection of the Diversity ofCultural Contents and Artistic Expressions “clearly remains a sensitive issue,” adding “It has been the subject of much debate and has generated considerable expectations and reactions. I have done my best to respond to the request of the General Conference, and have already shared my comments on the matter with you. It is now up to the member states to assume their responsibility. I hope that we will be able to reach an agreement that serves the best interests of our Organization.”
The Executive Board was to examine the Report presented by the Director-General on August 11 (Item 19 on its agenda) and the Preliminary Draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions prepared for the third session of the intergovernmental meeting. In this Report, while stopping short of asking the Executive Council to recommend that the General Conference adopt the text “as is,” Director-General Koichiro Matsuura recommends that the Executive Council take note of the text of the draft (document 172 EX/20). A draft amendment presented by Canada and signed by 50 (of the 58) member states of the Executive Council was submitted to the Executive Council and proposes to add a new paragraph to the decision proposed in document 172 EX/20. This paragraph recommends that the General Conference at its 33rd session consider the said preliminary draft as a draft convention and adopt it as a UNESCO convention (UNESCO, doc. 172 EXIPX/DR.1, Paris, September 20, 2005).
At the request of the representative of the United States, the final decision was taken in a plenary session standing vote by member states, and recorded in the minutes, in accordance with Section 53 of the internal regulations. Thus, members of the Program and External Relations Commission adopted the draft amendment proposed by the Canadian Ambassador by 53 “for,” 1 “against” ( USA), and 1 “abstention” ( Australia). Cap Verde, Pakistan, and Ukraine did not attend the plenary session. [05-28]