Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

UNESCO – Third session of the Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts : " That this meeting reflects the involvement of governments—an open, generous involvement and awareness of the challenges facing cultural diversity "

Koïchiro Matsuura, Directeur général de l'UNESCO, Paris, le 25 mai 2005 – 2005/05/25

The Director-General, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, proceeded, May 25, 2005, to the opening of the third session of the Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts on the preliminary draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions . During ten days - from May 25 to June 4 - this session will join together nearly 500 experts come from 130 countries, 2 observers, 6 representatives of intergovernmental organizations and 19 of nongovernmental organizations.

After saluting the remarkable efforts and tremendous work accomplished since the first session, Mr. Matsuura noted in his opening speech “the unique, special, and decisive nature of this third session” and the key challenges of this debate: « Over the next two weeks the Draft Convention should be finalized. It carries not only its own purpose, but an even greater responsibility—to put the finishing touches on a much broader mechanism that involves cultural diversity as a whole (…) It is clear that the challenge of this meeting will be to reach compromises between the still divergent positions of certain countries. » Before yielding the floor to the chairman of the intergovernmental meeting, Mr. Kader Asmal, to whom he paid tribute for his tremendous efforts in presenting a new working base, Mr. Matsuura declared, « I am confident in his wisdom and experience. I have no doubt he can help you find the road to consensus. »

Reporting on the last meeting and presenting the working documents, particularly the “composite” text and the “consolidated” text of the Draft Convention, Mr. Matsuura noted that UNESCO—the only UN organization with a cultural mandate—must « obviously address an issue that was not yet covered by existing instruments but is nonetheless crucial to cultural diversity: cultural contents and artistic expressions,» in order to complement and round out its « wide range of normative instruments that help protect cultural diversity, each according to a specific approach,» and face the challenges posed by the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. He ended by expressing the hope « that this meeting reflects the involvement of governments—an open, generous involvement and awareness of the challenges facing cultural diversity.» [05-16]