Cultural diversity

The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 14, No. 1, Monday, January 13, 2014

Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!


Convention Update

Recent Publications

Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Other News of Interest

Convention Update

Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!

The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came into force on March 18, 2007. At the first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention in June 2007, the Intergovernmental Committee was given a mandate to develop the necessary operational guidelines for implementing the Convention. Since then, six ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of eight.

The fourth session of the Conference of Parties, which took place in Paris, June 11 to 13, 2013, saw the approval of operational guidelines governing the use of the emblem of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as well as the revised guidelines on using the resources of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. In total, twelve articles of the Convention now incorporate operational guidelines.

At press time, 134 Parties (133 states and the European Union as a regional economic integration organization) had ratified the treaty.

Efforts to implement the treaty are well underway, but the mobilization campaign to encourage Member States who haven't already done so to ratify the treaty must continue with commitment and conviction. The Convention's legitimacy will be directly proportional to the number of countries from all parts of the world that ratify, accept, approve, or join the treaty.

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Recent Publications

Decisions by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions has published the decisions from the seventh ordinary session. Among other agenda items, the Committee rendered a decision on the implementation of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), the impact of Article 21, and the impact of digital technologies on the Convention.

In addition, the Intergovernmental Committee invited the Parties, international organizations, and other members of civil society to use the Web platform to inform the Secretariat of the impacts and implementation of Article 21 of the 2005 Convention.

During the session, the Committee also examined the quadrennial periodic reports of the Parties received in 2013. A total of 65 periodic reports were submitted in 2012 and 2013, including 25 new reports that are now available online. The Committee also encouraged the Parties that had not yet submitted their reports to do so by the end of April 2014. The Committee acknowledged the challenges posed by digital technologies and invited the Parties to include a section on this issue when submitting their 2014 and 2015 reports.

To read the decisions and new quadrennial periodic reports, visit the 2005 UNESCO Convention website.

The seventh ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Committee was held in Paris December 10 to 13, 2013. The Committee meets once a year for an ordinary session and is composed of 24 representatives of the Parties to the 2005 Convention, who are elected every four years.

Source: UNESCO

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Reports for the Summit on Arts and Culture

As noted in the December newsletter, the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture is scheduled for January 13 to 16, 2014. The National Council of Culture and Arts of Chile (CNCA) and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) have posted two reports online for the Summit, the theme of which is "Creative Times: New Models for Cultural Development."

The purpose of the CNCA document, which evolved from the Summit program, is to spark discussion among participants. The first section of the document presents various challenges facing cultural development (e.g., culture and sustainable development, technology, and culture and globalization) and an examination of the future of cultural policy. The second section presents case studies, including projects in Cambodia, Australia, and Rwanda.

The IFACCA also prepared a document on key issues in public arts administration. The first section of the document provides an overview of public arts administration and its main strengths, weaknesses, and challenges, and the second section discusses the cultural sector. The document originated from a questionnaire distributed to public arts funding agencies, cultural policy experts, and members of the IFACCA network.

To read the documents prepared by CNCA and IFACCA, visit the IFACCA website.

The World Summit is the one important international summit that gathers professionals and practitioners involved in cultural policy and arts funding. This 6th World Summit offers a strategic opportunity to bring together key decision-makers and actors from the region involved in the challenges of funding the arts and supporting the development of creative industries and the cultural development of communities.

Source: IFACCA

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

All of Norway's books will be available online by 2030

The National Library of Norway (NLN) is in the process of digitizing all of the country's publications. The project launched in 2006 and is expected to take 20 to 30 years to complete. The goal is not only to digitize ancient books, but also the country's more recent legally filed and published texts.

What makes the Norwegian initiative so unique is the sheer number of scanned documents, made even more significant because it includes ancient literature. The NLN plans to allow anyone located in Norway to access the books from the NLN website and other online sources.


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Creative Europe

January 1st marked the launch of the "Creative Europe" program approved by the European Parliament in November and the Council of the European Union on December 5, 2013. The goal of the program is to contribute to the promotion of cultural diversity, help the cultural and creative sectors make the digital shift, and open new markets for cultural goods and services.

The program will allocate a budget of €1.46 billion over the next seven years to the European cultural and creative sectors. This represents a 9% increase over the previous budget and will provide funding for some 250,000 artists and culture professionals. The initiative also aims to help small enterprises in the cultural sector by making up to €750 million in bank loans available.

Calls for proposals under the new program are available on the Creative Europe website.

The European cultural and creative sectors make up 4.5% of GDP in the European Union and employ over eight million people.

Source: European Commission

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Cultural diversity in Moroccan festivals

On December 27, 2013, Morocco's Ministry of Culture organized a day of dialogue to develop a new festival management model. Objectives of the new model include promoting cultural diversity and yielding socioeconomic returns from artistic events, primarily by establishing a better defined program and integrating all forms of artistic expression where possible.

This approach dovetails with the activities of another commission that was meeting in Rabat at the same time to discuss movie theatre management. The commission assigned to discuss the festival management issue also weighed in on the importance of professionalism in film festivals organized to promote Moroccan cinema nationally and internationally.

The release issued by the Moroccan Ministry of Communications is available on the ministry's website.

The two commissions include representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and other cultural organizations. The Moroccan Ministry of Culture assists in organizing 24 festivals, and 50-some film events are held across the country.


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Meeting on funding cultural projects in French-speaking Africa

A meeting was held between culture experts and donors in Brussels December 17 and 18, 2013. The event was put on by the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), the International Organisation for La Francophonie (IOF), and ACPCultures+.

Several donors took part, including the IOF, UNESCO, the African Development Bank, and the British Council. The aim of the meeting was to share knowledge on funding research and the sustainability of cultural projects in French-speaking Africa.

Visit the IFCCD website  to view meeting materials, including a presentation by the Danish Centre for Culture and Development and a presentation on crowdfunding for arts projects in Africa.

Crowdfunding is a call for tenders issued online to obtain funding for an initiative in exchange for compensation, which may take many shapes—from explicit recognition in the work produced or reimbursement when the funding is provided as a community loan.

Source: IFCCD

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Other News of Interest

Meeting of experts on the 2005 UNESCO Convention

At the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Francophonie of Côte d'Ivoire, 55 national and international experts met on December 26 to discuss strategies for implementing the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions . The organizers' main objective was to promote the 2005 Convention.

Two workshop activities were of particular note. In one, participants learned different ways to access project funding under the 2005 UNESCO Convention. It was suggested that government officials should be further encouraged to promote funding opportunities. In the other workshop activity, four work groups proposed solutions and actions to be taken to educate the public about the 2005 UNESCO Convention.

Source: Coalition for Cultural Diversity

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Preliminary report on the U.S. arts and culture industry

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released a report detailing the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account—the most in-depth analysis of its kind published to date. According to the preliminary report, arts and cultural production accounted for 3.2% of U.S. GDP in 2011, representing $504 billion.

The motion picture and video industry alone contributed $47 billion to GDP in 2011. But according to the report, arts and cultural production's share of GDP has been declining since 2007, after ranging between 3.5% and 3.7% the previous decade. However, between 2008 and  2011, the United States exported $10.4 billion more arts and cultural commodities than it imported.

The report drew on data from the motion picture and video industry, advertising agencies, television production companies, publishers, and the performing arts sector.

The 2012 results will be available in the fall of 2014. To read the report, visit the BEA website.


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Christian Mungiu and Voix de Femmes win the Cultural Diversity Award

In follow-up to the call for applications we reported on the July 2013 newsletter, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity has released the names of the winners of its 2013 Cultural Diversity Award.

Romanian filmmaker Christian Mungiu was recognized for his perseverance in defending the exclusion of audiovisual content from the free trade talks between the European Union and the United States.

A second prize was awarded to Voix de Femmes, an association that organizes a biennial festival in Belgium to promote female creativity in all its forms.

To learn more about the eligibility criteria for the 3rd edition of the Cultural Diversity Award, visit the website of the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity.

Source: French Coalition for Cultural Diversity

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