Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

"Make the Convention an international legal instrument of reference on questions relating to cultural policies" - Lomé Declaration - 2006/09/22

As part of the Second International Meeting of French-Speaking Cultural Professional Coalitions and Organizations , national coalition delegates and cultural professional organizations of 23 Member States of la Francophonie , joined by their colleagues from 4 African countries not part of the Francophonie, met in Lomé, Togo, from September 19 to 22, 2006, on the eve of the 11th Francophonie Summit to assess the progress of the international campaign to ratify the UNESCO Convention of the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions , as well as to compare perspectives on the upcoming implementation of that Convention.

In the course of their work, and while emphasizing the urgency of quickly obtaining the 30 ratifications necessary for the Convention to enter into force at the 34th session of the UNESCO General Conference in October 2007, the participants were heartened by the remarkable progress of the Convention's international ratification campaign, estimating that at that time some 20 countries, including an significant number of Francophonie Member States, had registered their ratification instruments with UNESCO, or had at least passed the crucial step of securing legislative approval.

Despite this progress, the participants emphasized that only ratification by a number significantly exceeding the required minimum of 30 states and providing a balanced representation of world regions will suffice to give the Convention the necessary effectiveness and extension for it to provide genuine promotion and protection of the diversity of cultural expressions throughout the world, thereby making the Convention an international legal instrument of reference on questions relating to cultural policy. To this end, Coalitions and cultural professional organizations :

  1. "Pledge to vigorously mobilize for and participate in the international ratification campaign, and subsequently in the Convention implementation process, both on the national level with their respective governments and on the international level with the relevant regional and international organizations;
  2. "Exhort the Member States of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) and more broadly all the Member States of UNESCO to complete all the required steps of the ratification process as rapidly as possible, including the final step of registering their ratification instruments at UNESCO;
  3. "Strongly encourage the States to adopt and implement a broad spectrum of national cultural policies as are necessary to support high levels of national production in all areas of culture;
  4. "Demand that Francophonie Member States, in accordance with the positions taken by OIF, immediately refrain from any liberalization measures in the cultural sector, be it in multilateral, regional, or bilateral trade negotiations, thereby ensuring that their trade commitments are compatible with the principles stated in the UNESCO Convention;
  5. "Call on Northern countries to become actively involved in implementation of the Convention and to undertake international cooperative measures to support Southern countries in developing viable cultural industries, in particular by contributing significant amounts to the fund for cultural diversity provided for in article 18 of the Convention (.);
  6. "Urge OIF and its Member States to support their efforts to ensure that the governing bodies of UNESCO allow for the effective participation of coalition representatives at governance meetings regarding Convention implementation."

The Secretariat for the International Liaison Committee of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity will report on this event in the next edition of its bulletin Coalition Currents