Cultural diversity

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Diversity of cultural expressions: cooperation and sustainable development on agenda of UNESCO intergovernmental meeting

Three years after UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, its intergovernmental committee is meeting in Paris from December 8 to 12 at UNESCO Headquarters, Room XII. According to UNESCO, international cooperation and sustainable development will be on the agenda of the meeting that will be opened by the Director-General of the Organization, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura.

UNESCO adds that the 24-member committee, chaired by Gilbert Laurin (Canada), “will examine ways to promote international cooperation in cultural expressions, as well as to encourage the signatories to integrate culture within sustainable development, in line with the terms of the Convention.”

According to the press release, the members of the committee will also examine draft proposals concerning the use of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity, “which aims to encourage the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector.” The committee’s decisions will then be submitted to the Conference of Parties to the Convention for approval at its meeting in June 2009.

Finally, the Committee will examine the question of preferential treatment for developing countries, on the basis of six expert reports. The press release goes on to say that, according to Article 16 of the Convention, “developed countries shall facilitate cultural exchanges with developing countries by granting, through the appropriate institutional and legal frameworks, preferential treatment to artists and other cultural professionals and practitioners, as well as cultural goods and services from developing countries.” UNESCO adds that the primary objective of this clause “is to facilitate cultural exchanges with developing countries.”

UNESCO also announces that the opening ceremonies (to be held at 10:00 a.m.) will be open to the press.

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