Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Mondialisation et développement durable

Avis de la Commission de la culture, de la science et de l’éducation

Document 9683 - Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe. 28 janvier 2003

In this statement, Committee on Culture, Science, and Education rapporteur Mr. J. Legendre asserts that “culture is a key factor in societal development thanks to its extraordinary diversity, which stems from the unique value of each person, each minority, each region, and each people.” He regrets that globalization in the cultural arena is currently a massive one-way flow—rather than a fine web of productive interactions—as cultural goods are increasingly treated as mere commercial goods. He also points out that this trend is becoming institutionalized under the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which aims to completely liberalize trade in services, with all forms of artistic expression considered as services. According to Mr. Legendre, “Although countries can refrain from requesting commitments in cultural areas, pressure may be exerted bilaterally and multilaterally in order to encourage such commitments.” The Committee therefore proposes the following amendment to the draft resolution: “Undertake to support and promote cultural and linguistic diversity as a vital element of sustainable human development, and develop an international legal instrument to ensure that cultural goods are not treated as mere commercial goods in multilateral trade agreements.” (Available in French only)

Assemblée parlementaire – Conseil de l’Europe