Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

"As UNESCO Starts Work on the Cultural Diversity Convention, the Challenge Will be to Hold the Line on Culture in Trade Talks"

Coalition Currents, Vol. 1, No. 5, December 2003 - 2003/12

This edition of the Bulletin by the Coalitions for Cultural Diversityagain draws attention to one of the greatest threats to cultural diversity: “the growing pressure on countries to give in during trade negotiations and give up their right to have cultural policies.” It considers UNESCO’s decision to establish an international convention on cultural diversity “a major victory for the cultural diversity movement.” However, “the treaty is being developed it will be critical that the organizations representing artists and all cultural professionals mobilize to ensure that the battle is not lost in the meantime at the trade bargaining table.” These concerns have stemmed from the fact that “In pursuit of its ultimate goal of achieving a completely liberalized cultural sector (…), the United States has been following a clear strategy of proliferating bilateral and smaller-scale regional trade or investment negotiations.” In addition, the United States has reacted to the “impasse” in WTO multilateral negotiations and the “negligible progress” in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations by “increasing its emphasis on bilateral agreements” and “aggressively seeking to conclude agreements in which its trading partners accede to demands that the sector be liberalized.” For the Coalition Currents, this is a “battle to see that countries do not mortgage their future by giving up the right to introduce new cultural policies or adjust existing ones in response to changing circumstances.”».  (Available in English, French and Spanish)