The 9th Annual Ministerial Meeting of the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from November 22 to 25 , with some 40 culture m inisters from INCP member states in attendance to discuss, among other things, ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and certain issues with regard to its implementation.
In a press release issued on November 23, Québec minister of culture and communications Line Beauchamp noted, “We are delighted at the speed with which countries are ratifying the Convention. If the current pace keeps up, this Convention will become the quickest UNESCO convention ever to have gathered the minimum number of ratifications required for implementation. However, we would like to remind everyone that every effort should be made to ensure that the maximum number of countries possible ratifies the Convention. INCP member countries that have played such an important part in getting this Convention adopted must set an example. It is also clear that INCP members must actively participate in the Convention’s implementation.”
Québec MNA Sam Hamad, who headed up the Québec delegation at this meeting on behalf of minister Beauchamp, described the 9th Annual INCP Ministerial Meeting as an “opportunity to invite members not just to ratify the Convention quickly, but also to begin considering its implementation.” He also added that, “regarding the last point, the Québec delegation is prepared to discuss with fellow INCP countries on issues already identified in work into this matter in Québec.”
It should also be noted that the second World Cultural Forum is being held in the same city from November 22 to 30. and will be an opportunity, through its various activities, for participants to promote Convention ratification, among other things. The idea for the Forum arose in 1998 in Stockholm, Sweden, at the UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development., where it was seen as a way to rethink the role and positioning of Arts and Culture in the face of the new challenges of globalization, i.e., protection of cultural diversity, the creative economy, and intellectual property rights. The first forum was held in São Paulo from June 26 to July 4, 2004, while the 2006 edition currently under way in Rio de Janeiro will continue in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, from December 1 to 3.
Identity , Diversity, and Development are the key themes that will be discussed in a series of lectures, meetings, and presentations planned for the 2006 Forum to be led by experts and intellectuals from all over the world. Subjects such as culture and citizenship, the creative economy, intellectual property rights and new technology, cultural rights, culture and globalization, culture and development, cultural exchanges, the mobility of artists and the arts, and local cultural developments will also be broached.