Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

"Il faut dans l’immédiat améliorer ce qui existe et compléter notre cadre normatif commun sur les Droits de l’Homme et la diversité culturelle" - Entretien avec Dominique de Villepin

Revue Politique Internationale, numéro 102, 55 p., 13 février 2004 - 2004/02/13

“Will the world be one of relations that are purely of force or one of multilateral compliance and collective responsibility? Will it be one of a sanitized, levelled culture or one of diversity? Will it be one of respect for others or one of violent confrontation based on religious or nationalist extremism? Will it be one of controlled development or one of reckless globalization?” In an interview conducted by Mr. Patrick Wajsman, Director of Politique Internationale magazine, Mr. Dominique de Villepin, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, points out that these questions are at the heart of French diplomacy and are being asked in many places around the world. He states that there is current consensus concerning the “Millennium Objectives,” which include cultural diversity in a number of the international community’s priorities. While claiming that globalization has a positive side, “that of seeking unity and sharing, of an awareness of that which unites mankind, of a better understanding among people,” he also points out its dark side, which is that it involves “a risk of the standardization and decline of culture in the world.” That is why globalization is becoming “a real political challenge” since, as Mr. Villepin states, “There are now shared interests to protect that exceed the capacities of single States, from challenges in education and knowledge to those of health and the preservation of global public goods.” To overcome these challenges, he maintains, “We must create a world governing body capable of enacting and enforcing the regulations that are needed on a global level. This is the political mission today, to be able to serve the world’s collective interest.” To do this, “We must immediately improve and, if necessary, supplement our existing common  regulatory framework on Human Rights, cultural diversity, life sciences and techniques, and good governance. We must then develop a new approach to treating threats and crises.” On the subject of cultural diversity, Mr. Villepin points out that many countries share the same concerns as France. “How can we reconcile ancient cultures and identities with the desire for modernity and openness to the world?” According to him, France’s goal is to stand beside these countries to overcome these challenges.  In Europe, this means being their privileged partner and in our historic and human affinities, mould what unifies us, the ability to create a better world together. (Available in French only)