Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Adoption of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at UNESCO: “ American solitude ”

Nicolas Dufour , editorialist for LeTemps, Geneva, October 25, 2005 – 2005/10/25

Commenting on UNESCO’s decision last week on cultural diversity, Swiss daily Le Temps headlined “ Billions in culture escape competition. ” The fact that “ artistic goods and audiovisual productions will be excluded from free trade negotiations ” is, according to the Geneva paper, a victory, particularly for Switzerland, which “ played an important role in the debates, ” Les Échos reported . It is, however, a setback for the United States, said Le Temps: “We have rarely seen such a stunning, and even pathetic demonstration of the solitude of the empire, isolated from 148 countries, noted Nicolas Dufour in a front-page editorial on the topic entitled “American solitude.” “Condoleezza Rice’s threats didn’t rattle the representatives of countries who nonetheless have everything to fear from inciting the wrath of the U.S.,” he added. For Washington, it is “ a slap in the face, ” while defenders of a government-supported media and culture “are rejoicing. ” However, the columnist does wonder how long the currently unanimous anti-American sentiments will persist. “How long will it be before China, India, or Brazil find the regulations sheltering cultural goods to be too restrictive?”