Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

The 5th World Social Forum supports the UNESCO's draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions and adopt the Communication Rights Approach

Centre des médias alternatifs du Québec (CMAQ), 3 février 2005 – 2005/02/03

At the end of its discussions, the 5th World Social Forum (WSF), held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, adopted a Manifesto containing « 12 proposals for another possible world ».  In this regard, the WSF affirms, « Another possible world must respect the right to life for all human beings through new economic rules.  Therefore, it must: […] promote all forms of fair trade by refusing WTO free-trade regulations and establishing mechanisms that allow for social and environmental norms to gradually be raised in the production of goods and services (such as those set forth in ILO agreements); completely exclude education, health, social services and culture from the field of application of the General Agreement on the Trade of Services (GATS) of  WTO.  The convention on cultural diversity currently being negotiated at UNESCO must explicitly favour the right to culture and public policies supporting culture over the right of commerce ».

Moreover, during the WSF, Association mondiale de radiodiffuseurs communautaires (ARMC) organised or collaborated with partners of the Communication Rights in the Information Society Campaign (CRIS) several events to analyze the challenges to communication rights from a civil society perspective. As Mrs Maria Pia Matta, Vicepresident of AMARC in Latin America, states, « The Forum allowed us to revisit, from a civil society perspective the threats created by neoliberal globalisation on the concentration of media ownership and the reduction on the plurality of information flows ». AMARC delegates were present during the debates on the role of community media in the protection of cultural diversity, the results of which have been expressed in the Manifesto:  « Guarantee the right to information and the right to inform citizens through legislation that puts a stop to the concentration of media sources within giant communication groups, guaranteeing the autonomy of journalists versus shareholders and favouring non-profit media, particular alternative and community media.  Respecting these rights will require the establishment of citizen opposition forces, particularly in the form of national and international media observers ».[4]