Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

" Cultural Diversity : A New Pillar of the International Legal System "

Spanish Coalition for cultural diversity (SCCD), April 22, 2005 – 2005/04/22

As we announced in our Bulletin of March 21 (Vol. 5, no 6), the Spanish Coalition for cultural diversity to host Fourth International Meeting of Cultural Professional Organizations on May 9 th to 11 th in Madrid , Spain, with the collaboration of the International Liaison Committee of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (ILC) and the support of the Spanish government. Indeed, the Madrid Meeting will bring together leaders of organizations representing artists, creators and other cultural professionals from more than 75 countries around the world (actors, writers, directors, composers and musicians, visual artists, publishers, and independent producers and distributors of film, television and music). The Meeting’s panel discussions will feature leaders of organizations representing cultural professionals from around the world, experts on the trade and culture debate, and key negotiators engaged in the UNESCO talks. Political leaders and government officials responsible for the culture, foreign affairs and trade portfolios from several countries will also take part.

This Meeting, which is being held on the eve of the third intergovernmental session at UNESCO to negotiate the proposed Convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions, cover the following topic, in particular: Cultural Diversity : A New Pillar of the International Legal System. The following subjects will be addressed in discussion workshops:

  • Why we need cultural policies, how they are coming under threat, and why we need a Convention at UNESCO ? Within the framework of this session, the participants will examine the unique nature of cultural goods and services: Why the development of culture cannot be left solely to market forces - the essential role of cultural policies in ensuring national cultures flourish.
  • The UNESCO process to develop a Convention on the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions .
  • What do cultural professionals need : Must-have elements of an effective Convention (S cope and objectives; Rights and obligations; International cooperation for development; relationship to other international instruments; Dispute settlement; Follow-up mechanisms ).
  • The Current State of Play in the UNESCO Convention Talks and the fluid negotiations environment on the eve of the third intergovernmental experts session.
  • Towards true cultural diversity : The importance of international cooperation for development .
  • The role of culture in a society's economic and social development : D iscussion of what countries can do to foster a climate in which this essential resource can flourish .
  • Multilateral trading system and the UNESCO Convention. The participants will examine in this session how is culture being addressed in international, regional and bilateral negotiations currently underway: Overview of WTO Doha Round of services negotiations just weeks before the May 31 deadline for countries to file revised offers; The risk presented by the rapid proliferation of bilateral trade negotiations; Moratorium on liberalization offers on culture while the UNESCO Convention is being put in place.
  • The mobilization challenge : What cultural professional organizations must do to ensure a truly effective convention .

T he Spanish Coalition for cultural diversity (SCCD ) is taking advantage of this opportunity to announce that the deadline to register for the Fourth International Meeting of Cultural Professional Organizations is Wednesday, April 28, 2005. [05-11]