Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

"Diversité culturelle et Francophonie, dans l'espace francophone et à l'échelle mondiale" : Séance inaugurale du Haut Conseil de la Francophonie - Dossier préparatoire

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Paris, 19-20 janvier 2004 - 2004/01/19-20

The theme of the first working conference of the High Council of La Francophonie, held in Paris from January 19 to 20, 2004, was “Cultural Diversity and La Francophonie in the French-speaking World and Around the Globe.” La Francophonie wished to demonstrate its heavy involvement in the International Convention on Cultural Diversity in the works at UNESCO, a convention that “will have a major impact on the development of industries in the cultural realm.” This meeting was divided up into a number of sessions, which allowed participants to address subjects like “Cultural Diversity and La Francophonie in the French-speaking World: An apparent contradiction?” and “Cultural Diversity and La Francophonie Around the World: The difficult wager of openness and dialog.” In his introductory note, Mr. Christian Valantin, High Council chairman, declared that “the dynamics at work in globalization reveal that it is urgent we define assured milestones and markers through a three-step approach: clarifying the concept of culture upon which the dialog between nations is founded; promoting strategies in keeping with the new prescriptive international instrument on cultural diversity; and identifying concrete measures to translate the required dynamic of pluralism into day-to-day reality. From the debates emerged three priorities likely to give real impetus to world cultural diversity: lead a vast national and international debate on the acceptable balance between protected identity and cultural dialog, starting with all IOF member countries and other major linguistic groups and framed by higher universal values; allow public or contractual regulation of cultural industry markets (audiovisual, publishing, cinema, discs, song), excluding those products that fall within the realm of WTO intervention (possibility of subsidizing and maintaining quotas), by remaining vigilant on two fronts—the European Union and WTO—while striving to have a convention adopted at UNESCO; and support the emergence of cultural industries and distribution channels in the South. (Available in French only)