Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Cultural diversity at UNESCO: what is the position of French-speaking countries?

La Presse canadienne , le 28 avril 2005 – 2005/04/28

As reported by the Canadian Press , five months before the vote of the Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions at UNESCO, certain French-speaking countries are still keeping their intentions shrouded in secrecy. This situation was brought up by Québec’s Minister of International Relations, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, during her meeting in Paris with the Secretary General of la Francophonie, Mr. Abdou Diouf : “Some fifteen members of the International Francophonie Organization have not stated their positions, which does not mean that they are against, explained the minister. I asked Mr. Diouf to speak with their countries to find out their intentions, which would reassure us.”

As this convention is expected to be submitted to the General Conference of UNESCO this coming October, the minister also brought up this date during a meeting in Paris with the Director-General Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, who apparently appeared “reasonably optimistic” about the Convention’s chances of being adopted. In addition, the minister considers the draft text, entitled, Draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions – A Consolidated Text, to be encouraging. This text, which will serve as a basis for work during the third session of the intergovernmental meeting of experts scheduled to start on May 25 in Paris, “is in line with the position of Québec and Canada,” stresses Mrs. Gagnon-Tremblay. [05-12]