Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Diversité culturelle et mondialisation

Ouvrage collectif, Éditions Autrement, Collection Mutations, 364 pages - 2 novembre 2004

Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the Francophonie (OIF), contributes the preface to this collective work, published in partnership with the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophonie (AIF), in which 16 authors reflect on cultural diversity issues in the francophone space and beyond. Themes include plural identifies, North-South relations, education, language, cultural industries, and new technology—all examined from a dual sectoral and geocultural perspective. The authors’ starting postulate is that cultural diversity is in danger around the globe. They note that although globalization makes new tools available to artists, producers, and distributors, it also engenders a trend toward uniformization that threatens cultural pluralism. They also point out that international trade talks on services, especially the WTO Doha Round, could undermine the ability of governments to intervene on behalf of cultural diversity.

Yet recognition of cultural and linguistic diversity is crucial to sustainable development and peace. In June 2001, at the third Ministerial Conference on Culture in Cotonou, Benin, the members of the Francophonie decided to mobilize to develop and secure adoption of an international convention on cultural diversity at UNESCO in order to ensure that cultural goods and services were not treated as simple merchandise. The international community acknowledged this concern by adopting the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in November 2001. “Today, on the eve of the 10th Francophonie Summit in Ouagadougou on November 26 and 27, 2004, and as the campaign for the adoption of the draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions enters its final stages, the Francophonie continues to focus its energies on this crucial issue of our times. In doing so, it maintains its commitment to securing respect for cultures and languages—a combat it helped launch, and which it now pursues in conjunction with other linguistic communities.”

The following authors contributed to the book: Roger Dehaybe, principal officer of AIF, Hassan Arfaoui (Tunisian historian), Raphaël Confiant (Martinican writer), Jean-Claude Guédon (president of the Québec branch of the Internet Society), Samir Kassir (editorialist for the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar), Pierre Lampron (former president of TV5 for the Americas), Daniel Latouche (Québec urbanist), Alfred Mondjanagni (Beninese architect), Bonaventure Mve Ondo (Gabonese philosopher), Blaise Njehoya (Cameroonian writer, scriptwriter, and director), Stanislas Spero Adotevi (Beninese anthropologist and philosopher), Jean Tardif (delegate general for Planet-Agora), Ngo Tu Lap (Vietnamese writer), Dominique Wallon (former head of CNC), Bernard Wicht, (head of international affairs for the Swiss Federal Office of Culture), and Toussaint Yaovi Tchitchi (Beninese linguist), Fawzia Zouari (French-Tunisian writer and journalist). (Available in French) [79]