On October 7 Fadila Laanan, a minister representing Belgium at the 35th session of the UNESCO General Conference, gave an address on the diversity of cultural expressions:
“Eight years ago, when the world was coming to terms with the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the UNESCO General Conference adopted a universal declaration on cultural diversity. Adapted into a convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in 2005, the principle of cultural diversity is a response to numerous forms of intolerance men and women all around the world may be exposed to. ...
“The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of October 20, 2005, must also inspire us to do more with regard to ‘cultural’ development. In both the northern and southern hemispheres, cultural industries are involved in the development of human societies. This is why the French Community of Belgium has contributed to the new Cultural Diversity Fund for a number of years. It will pursue dialogue with the Secretariat to enable new projects to be implemented, particularly for Africa.”
Fadila Laanan is the French Community of Belgium’s minister for culture, audiovisuals, health, and equal opportunities. Her address was a joint effort between the federal state and the Communities as part of an alternating agreement between them to represent Belgium at UNESCO.