Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Cultural diversity : " Strengthen the international community's support for the UNESCO draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Content and Artistic Expression"

Liza Frulla, ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Ottawa, le 16 mai 2005 – 2005/05/16

In the leadup from UNESCO's resumption of discussions on the draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions , theMinister of Canadian Heritage, Mrs Liza Frulla met with the diplomatic corps in order to explain Canada's position on and strengthen the international community's support for that UNESCO draft Convention. She reiterated the importance of the convention, not only for Canada for the 65 ambassadors in attendance, emphasizing that «the convention addresses a key issue for our societies: the preservation of our own identities (…) We know that cultural goods and services cannot be treated as mere commodities because although they have an economic value, they also transmit social and identity values ».

The minister declared that « the strength of a strong Canadian identity is based on having the means to develop our own forms of cultural expression. I am deeply convinced that our culture- that defines us and distinguishes us - is worth protecting. Canada is determined to ensure that UNESCO adopts a convention that clearly affirms the right of countries to implement cultural policies that support the diversity of cultural expression (…) Canada wants a convention that forthrightly establishes the right of each country to adopt policies and take measures intended to protect and promote its own forms of cultural expression. This will help to ensure genuine diversity, domestically and internationally ».

The Minister's meeting with the ambassadors is in keeping with the federal government's efforts to better promote Canadian objectives in this area. Through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada is playing a leading role with UNESCO in creating a convention that acknowledges the importance of cultural policies on the international stage. In this regard, the Government of Canada is working closely with the provinces and territories, and with civil society. It is also bolstering its support for its international partners to ensure that the Convention reflects Canadian priorities. [05-15]