In a press release on June 16, 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) announced that "it is pleased that the Third Conference of Parties to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions [that took place last June 14 and 15] took up Part V of the Convention regarding the relationship between this text and international trade agreements."
This Conference was notable for its adoption of a resolution (Resolution 3.CP11) on the future activities of the Intergovernmental Committee that foresees, among other things, that the Secretariat "in the context of the implementation of Section V of the Convention on the relationship to other instruments, [presents], in relation to Article 21, a compendium of cases wherein the Convention is invoked or utilized in other international fora for examination by the Committee at each ordinary session."
"If, a priori, this decision seems technical, it is nevertheless crucial to the future of the Convention. As it stands, its purpose is to bring to the attention of the Intergovernmental Committee any references made to the Convention in other international fora," says the APF release.
It should be borne in mind that the plenary assembly of the APF, time and again through its resolutions and notices to the Summit of La Francophonie, has requested heads of state and governments to use their influence to preserve their states' powers by adopting measures to protect and promote cultural expressions, notably by not committing to international trade agreements that might limit cultural expressions. The Education, Communication, and Cultural Affairs Committee of APF will also follow up on this decision at its meeting in Kinshasa in July 2011.
To read the entire text of the APF release, please consult the APF website.
To download the resolutions adopted at the Third Conference of Parties, please visit the UNESCO website.