Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

“This is an important step forward, but we must continue to push for a convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions”

Line Beauchamp, ministre de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, le 10 juin 2005 – 2005/06/10

As the International Meeting of Ministers of Culture prepared to get underway in Madrid on June 11 and 12, attendee Line Beauchamp commented on the third and final session of the intergovernmental meeting of experts at UNESCO, which wrapped up on June 3 in Paris. The minister, delighted with this major step forward, stated that “it is more crucial than ever that we keep up the pressure and continue our efforts” to promote the draft Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Approved by a large majority of member states, the text has been recommended for adoption by the UNESCO General Conference to be held in October. This will require the support of most UNESCO member states. In this respect, stated the minister, “This meeting of ministers of culture will be a good opportunity to discuss the document as released after the last intergovernmental negotiating session, and ensure the broadest possible support for the draft Convention. This international meeting at this precise moment is a springboard for ensuring the success of the final step toward adoption of the Convention.” The ministers will also take the opportunity to reaffirm that cultural expressions are part of the shared heritage of humanity, and that culture plays a role in the development of our societies.

“For Québec,” ended the minister, “the basic objectives have been achieved: recognition of the right of governments to adopt policies and measures to support cultural expressions, and of the distinct nature of cultural goods and services, and explicit acknowledgement that this convention is not subordinate to other international instruments. The draft also provides monitoring and dispute settlement mechanisms that can be used to develop the Convention.” [05-18]