Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF), le 16 décembre 2003 - 2003/12/16
Cultural diversity is the first of five priorities that the Ministerial Conference of the Francophonie adopted at the AIF General Conference on December 18, 2003. This priority is divided into six sub-priorities, including Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity, which has two components: Support for National Policies on Culture and An International Instrument for Cultural Diversity. The latter component has an annual AIF budget of 340,000 euros. AIF plans to pursue a number of objectives based on significant successes in 2003: In April, the UNESCO Executive Board put the preliminary study and development of a draft international convention on cultural diversity on the agenda of its fall General Conference, and in October, the General Conference adopted a resolution asking the UNESCO Director-General to present “an initial draft convention” in 2005 at the 33rd UNESCO General Conference. These objectives include protecting cultural diversity from the risks of homogenization that may result from unbridled liberalization of trade in cultural goods and services; fostering dialog between cultures as a means of promoting peace and development; and supporting UNESCO’s preparation of an international legal instrument on cultural diversity and its adoption by the UNESCO General Conference in 2005.
AIF has made a commitment to supporting the agencies of the Francophonie in their efforts to preserve cultural diversity and now plans to support member states and governments in promoting the adoption of an international instrument by the 2005 General Conference while ensuring that no detrimental commitment is undertaken during bilateral or multilateral negotiations on the liberalization of trade in cultural goods and services. To this end, AIF plans to continue its awareness-raising initiative begun in 2003, particularly by organizing fact-finding missions and regional seminars, as well as by participating in the development of a draft UNESCO convention, both in terms of the group of experts the organization has established and in ensuing intergovernmental negotiations. (Available in French)