Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Third plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, Tunis

The third session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) was held in Tunis from March 16 to 17, 2007, on the invitation of the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies and under the presidency of Mr. Fouad Mebazaa, President of the Chamber of Deputies and President of EMPA. Regarding expressions of cultural diversity, the Final Declaration of the Presidency  emphasized that, based on the discussions and recommendations adopted, EMPA “requests a propellant role of parliaments of Euro Mediterranean countries in the phase of implementation and concrete application of the convention relative to the protection and promotion of cultural expressions' diversities adopted by the 33rd conference of UNESCO held in 2005.”

A further text issuing from the meeting, the Recommendation of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, also contains measures relating to the diversity of cultural expression. Concerning dialogue between cultures and civilizations as well as the promotion of cultural diversity, this document “recalls the substance of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions approved on 20 October 2005 by the 33rd UNESCO General Conference, which, in implementation of sections 8–11 of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity of 2001, enshrines recognition of the particular character of cultural goods and services which, as vehicles of identity, values and meaning, must not be treated as mere commodities or consumer goods.” (Section 6)

Furthermore, in its recommendation, the Committee on Improving Quality of Life, Exchanges between Civil Societies and Culture of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly: “trusts that all Euro-Mediterranean countries will ratify and implement the measures provided for by the UNESCO Convention of 2005, which, among other things, establishes that UNESCO shall contribute to facilitating the gathering, analysis and dissemination of information, statistics and best practices in relation to the diversity of cultural expression and create a data bank on the governmental, private or non profit-making organizations working in the field of cultural expression; urges Parliaments of the Euro-Mediterranean partner countries to play a driving role in the phase of actual implementation of this Convention; recalls that May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity, and encourages Parliaments and Euro-Mediterranean institutions to take an active part in its celebration. » (Section 7)