Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Rapport général du séminaire de haut niveau sur «les enjeux de la conférence ministérielle de cancùn pour les pays francophones»

25–27 juin 2003, Paris,

This report, published by Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, devotes a section to cultural diversity in WTO trade negotiations. Defining culture as “a fundamental dimension of human development,” the report states that “it is essential to promote cultural diversity using an efficient regulatory framework,” to address the serious risk that these service negotiations entail for the cultural sectors. “Negotiation is a give and take process of offering and requesting the liberalization of trade. Although this method allows member countries to protect their cultural sectors from open markets and the national treatment article, culture is nevertheless subject to “most favored nation” clauses, unless otherwise specified. The report goes on to note that “in many respects, the WTO’s fields fly in the face of the very principles of cultural activity. To develop, culture needs public support. This support is often a means of measuring cultural diversity.” (Available in French only)