In a press release issued on the eve of the first Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Mr. Abdou Diouf—the secretary general of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF)—called for the full and effective implementation of the international legal instrument.
“Experience has taught us that while it is often difficult to reach a consensus on a text, it is at least as difficult to reach an agreement on a course of action,” stated Mr. Diouf. “We must simultaneously operate on a level of national policies and measures while allowing international cooperation to flourish. Cultural industries hold tremendous potential for economic and social development for all countries, and for developing countries in particular,” he added.
The press release mentions that during the official lunch organized by the French-speaking UNESCO group on June 12, 2007, Mr. Diouf had the opportunity to discuss the Convention with UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura. The meeting was also an opportunity for the two leaders to take stock of cooperation between their organizations, particularly in the fields of education and training.
The press release also states that “faced with a constantly growing and evolving digital world, UNESCO and the OIF’s Institut de la Francophonie numérique have always worked together to foster cultural diversity and linguistic plurality on the Internet. To promote the introduction of digital culture in developing countries, the two organizations carry out joint initiatives to support the digitization of written cultural heritage in order to encourage global governance of the Internet that respects geographic diversity and the needs of all stakeholders as well as integrate technology into education and training.”