Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Diversité culturelle : La longue marche vers une convention internationale

Mme Line Beauchamp, ministre de la Culture et des Communications du Québec - RYTHMES, no 26, 1er trimestre 2004 , pp. 4-5

This publication by Conseil francophone de la chanson states that “the mandate given to UNESCO in Paris in October 2003 to develop an international convention on cultural diversity is a big step forward. It is key to reassuring many states, but the main task is still ahead: defining a legally binding international instrument by 2005.” In this regard, Ms Beauchamp, while acknowledging that “the task is enormous,” affirms that “Québec has already made much headway on cultural diversity, which means UNESCO is not starting from scratch.” Mentioning the study Evaluation of the Legal Feasibility of an International Instrument Governing Cultural Diversity by attorneys Ivan Bernier and Hélène Ruiz Fabri, which “is now a benchmark for UNESCO and European institutions,” as well as working hypotheses written by the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) for the cultural diversity convention, Ms Beauchamp and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications she oversees are continuing to develop the expertise needed to define this convention in cooperation with Ministère du Développement économique et régional and Ministère des Relations internationales. The following issues will be addressed: the compatibility of the UNESCO convention with trade agreements, the pluralism of ideas and concentration of media ownership, and the funding methods used by cultural industries to meet the needs of developing countries, foster their autonomy, and secure the participation of private partners. Ms Beauchamp and the Québec government have made cultural diversity a priority and hope that “this convention enshrines the right of states and governments to maintain, develop, and implement cultural and cultural diversity support policies” while “laying out a legal framework for cultural diversity” and stressing “openness to other cultures and cultural expression.” (Available in French only)