Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

The French Coalition Hail Successful Conclusion of UNESCO Negotiations for Treaty on Cultural Diversity in spite of the hostility of the United States

Coalition française pour la diversité culturelle, Paris, le 8 juin 2005 – 2005/06/08

In this release, the French Coalition declares that la Coalition française déclare que the representatives of 120 Member States adopted on last  June 3 a draft convention to be transmitted for approval to the general Conference of UNESCO in October 2005, given widespread fears that the 3rd session would be unable to finalize a text, due in large part to vigorous opposition from the United States. According to this news release, the draft convention recognizes the distinct nature of cultural goods and services and the legitimacy of cultural policies. In article 20 on the convention’s relationship with other international instruments—the item that sparked the liveliest debate with the American delegation—the draft reaffirms the principle of non-subordination to other treaties and obliges parties to take into account the requirements of cultural diversity when interpreting or enforcing their international obligations or entering into new commitments.

According to the French coalition, negotiations were marked at every major phase of the discussions by U.S. hostility, but shared determination to proceed by the vast majority of developing and industrial countries. For the first time in this field, the European Union negotiated with a single voice on behalf of its 25 member states. The French Coalition for cultural diversity, member of the International Liaison Committee of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity along with the 24 other coalitions, was present as an observer in the third and final session of the intergovernmental meeting of experts at UNESCO. The coalition saluted the official creation of the Italian coalition next June 22 in Rome. This brings to eight the total number of coalitions established in Europe since the beginning of 2004, and strengthens the voice of cultural professionals in the leadup to 33rd General Conference of UNESCO next October. [05-19]