The Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CIDEC) concluded on February 3 in Québec City, Québec, Canada. This two-day meeting ended with the signing of a final declaration adopted by the 300 parliamentary delegates from La Francophonie. According to a press release:
"This conference was particularly significant, because the diversity of cultural expressions, intercultural dialogue, and cultural cooperation are core principles of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF). The presentations and discussions were very impressive, resulting in a powerful final declaration that lays the groundwork for the effective implementation of this very important UNESCO Convention," stated Yvon Vallières, President of the National Assembly of Québec and President of APF.
APF members reiterated their unwavering support for the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in 2005 and ratified by 115 states to date. The Convention emphasizes "the need to incorporate culture as a strategic element in national and international development policies."
As the conference concluded, a final declaration was adopted: the Québec City Declaration on the Commitment of La Francophonie Parliamentarians to Implement the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Among the highlights, APF members undertook to
- Adopt legal texts that promote the diversity of cultural expressions
- Monitor trade negotiations that affect the field of culture
They also called upon governments and heads of state to
- Use the full weight of the Convention in trade negotiations to defend their rights to adopt or maintain policies and measures that support and promote cultural expressions
- Actively support cooperation in development in order to grant preferential status to cultural artists, professionals, and agents as well as cultural goods and services in developing countries
- Make annual contributions to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity equal to 1% of their contributions to the organization
Finally, APF members requested that the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) inventory, study, and evaluate the cultural policies and programs implemented by its member states and governments in order to create a platform for sharing expertise and experience in cultural matters within the French-speaking world.
The conference was organized by the National Assembly of Québec and APF in collaboration with OIF and UNESCO. More information on the conference is available on the CIDEC 2011 website.
The full text of the declaration adopted during the conference is available on the APF website. Visitors will also find a host of information on the event, including lectures, photos, and press releases.