Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Le Saint-Siège donne son soutien entier à la future Convention de l'UNESCO sur la diversité des expressions culturelles

La Croix, édition du 7 décembre 2004 – 2004/12/07

Within the framework of the current debate at UNESCO on the cultural diversity, on December 14, 2004, the Holy See delegation organized a symposium at UNESCO headquarters on the following topic: « Les cultures, richesses à partager ».  Furthermore, in a column published in the newspaper, La Croix, Mgr Follo, permanent observer for the Holy See at UNESCO, addresses the future international draft Convention on cultural diversity in the following terms:  « In less than a year, during the UNESCO’s General Conference in October 2005, the process of establishing a normative legal instrument on cultural diversity will conclude with the adoption of a "Convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions" ». He states, « Aware of the importance of cultural diversity as “humanity’s common heritage,” The Holy See has given its full support to the worthy initiative of this draft Convention ».

He further emphasizes, « In these historic times, we must first and foremost believe in the absolute ethical necessity to establish effective means for consensus on these issues, which must logically and coherently lead to legal and political instruments ».  He feels that the draft Convention also concretely poses the philosophical question of the relationship between the plurality of cultures and the universality of rights.  In this sense, he adds, we can all affirm « the equal dignity of all societies and social groups, » as is stated in the draft Convention.  In this regard, he stresses, « Only cultures that accept and promote the values of peace, tolerance, justice, and above all, openness and respect for each other, should be considered those of equal dignity […]  The cultural diversity is truly a source of wealth if it becomes a “fertile and creative diversity” […], if different cultures do not remain closed to one another, but instead enter into relationships ». [05-03]