Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

France mobilizes in order to accelerate the number of ratifications of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2006/07/12

Following promulgation last July 5 of the law authorizing the adhesion of France to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac determinedly committed himself to a vast mobilization in order to accelerate the number of ratifications of the UNESCO Convention. To that purpose, he sent on July 12 a series of letters concerning the ratification of this Convention to the President of the European Council, to the President of the European Commission, to the Director General of the UNESCO, to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UNO), and to the Secretary General of the International Organization of la Francophonie (IOF).

To the Director General of the UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura, he informs him that taking into account the importance of this Convention, he has decided to proceed to its ratification by way of Parliament (National Assembly and Senate), and that the internal procedure has therefore been completed as far as France is concerned. He is hoping that France may, while respecting its European commitments, contribute to the imminent enforcement of this Convention that will bring about legal results. He insists notably that this Convention constitutes a major advance for the recognition in international law of the equal dignity of cultures and of the legitimacy of the measures adopted by States to support their cultural policies.

To the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, and to the President of the European Council Matti Vanhanen, Prime Minister of Finland, he informs them of the ratification of the Convention by France and asserts that he has asked his Government to notify the Secretariat General of the Council of the immediate achievement of these procedures France being in future able to deposit its ratification instruments at any moment. According to the President Chirac, it is essential that the European Commission, in the name of the European Community, as well as of the largest possible number of Member States may deposit together their Instruments of ratification as promptly as possible with UNESCO. In this respect, he maintains that "the Convention will bring about legal results, as moreover demonstrated by the adhesion of the European Community. Its entry into force is therefore necessary to allow the States that wish to do so, particularly those from the South, to refer to it in the conclusion of bilateral agreements. Many countries of the world thus expect a determined commitment on the part of the Europeans following their active role in the negotiation. Such is the case of the Francophone States that will meet at a Summit in Bucarest next September 28 and 29".

To the Secretary General of the International Organization of la Francophonie Abdou Diouf, he indicates that this Convention contains a mixed character, from the point of view of the European Union: "It commits community competencies and national competencies. At the community level, the ratification therefore must in principle gather The European Commission and a sufficient number of Member States, but not necessarily the whole of them ». Therefore, he has written to the President of the European Council and to the President of the European Commission to bring to their attention the international emergency of a entry into force of the Convention, while underlining the importance for the European Union and its Member States to be among the first to deposit at UNESCO their Instruments of ratification, which will not only allow the Convention to come into force but also Europe to be represented within its directing bodies. He further insisted upon the importance to rapidly move forward in this direction in the perspective of the Summit of la Francophonie in Bucharest and expressed hope that France should be in a position, while respecting its European commitments, to deposit its Instruments of ratification on the occasion of the said Summit.