Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

The UNESCO World Report “Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue” is published

UNESCO reports on its website that “this World Report aims to become a reference tool for cultural diversity. Cultural diversity, which is too often reduced to the protection of endangered heritage, is also the development of intercultural skills, the search for an antidote to expressions of cultural isolationism, the road towards new forms of governance, the lever of the effective exercise of universally recognized human rights and a means to reduce imbalances in the world trade in creative products.”

“Media and cultural industries represent more than 7% of global GDP and represent approximately US$1.3 trillion, i.e., approximately twice the level of receipts from international tourism, estimated at US$680 billion. Africa’s share in the global trade in creative products remains marginal—less than 1% of worldwide exports—despite its abundance of creative talent. In order to improve this situation, it is urgent to invest in cultural diversity and dialogue, the report insists. ...

“This is clearly the meaning of the ten recommendations drawn by the report about ways to invest in cultural diversity. The report especially suggests creating a ‘World Observatory on Cultural Diversity, to monitor the impacts of globalization,’ setting up a ‘national mechanism for monitoring public policies as they relate to cultural diversity,’ and implementing ‘national language policies with a view to both safeguarding linguistic diversity and promoting multilingual competencies.’”

Among the key figures mentioned in the report, UNESCO notes that “there are many imbalances in the global trade of creative products: Africa’s share remains marginal (at less than 1% of exports), despite its abundance of creative talent.”

“Developing countries’ exports of cultural and media equipment increased rapidly between 1996 and 2005, growing from US$51 billion to US$274 billion, which showed the emergence of so-called ‘counter-flows,’ which are countering the extreme concentration of media ownership.”

The report is available in full from the UNESCO website. Summaries are available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese.