On June 19, 2008, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture (FOC) outlined its main areas of action for 2008–2009 at its annual press conference. The implementation of two UNESCO conventions to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and to safeguard intangible cultural heritage are among the FOC’s top concerns for this period.
In a document prepared for the June 19 press conference, FOC writes, “The ratification of the UNESCO conventions for cultural diversity and intangible cultural heritage mark a milestone in Switzerland’s cultural policy!” FOC notes that on March 20, 2008, the country’s federal chambers “opened the door to ratifying the two UNESCO conventions, the first to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and the second to safeguard intangible cultural heritage.”
Switzerland now has a framework within which to broadly promote cultural diversity and bolster cooperation with the international community,” FOC added.
Once the referendum period expires on July 10, 2008, Switzerland will submit ratification instruments to UNESCO and become a full-fledged Member State three months later. “Preliminary work to implement both conventions may now begin,” declared FOC.