Vol. 3, no 18, Monday, June 16, 2003
On the relation of a future international convention to cultural diversity and other international agreements
In addition to its new look, our Website on cultural diversity at (http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/index.html) now features two new sections. The monthly column of Professor Ivan Bernier, a renowned specialist on cultural diversity and the relation between culture and trade, is posted at (http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/update.html). In May’s column, which is already available on our Website in French, English, and Spanish, Mr. Bernier analyzes “On the relation of a future international convention to cultural diversity and other international agreements.” You will also find recent cultural diversity news at (http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/current-events.html), which is updated each week for our electronic newsletter subscribers. You can sign up directly at (http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/mailing.html) to receive this free newsletter in French, English, or Spanish.
IN THIS ISSUE :
In her speech, Ms Stenou declares that cultural diversity “is a forum for lasting and consensus-building dialog between all cultures. We must recognize this daily dialog as a founding principle and seek to preserve it.” She also raises the idea that global cooperation can consolidate the place of culture in these times of globalization, as “it is no longer a matter of globalization allowing cultural diversity to go on developing, but on the contrary, of diversity being the very condition without which globalization could not survive.” (Available in French only)
To mark their contribution to the work of UNESCO, the author, editor, and literary translator members of the International Federation of Translators (IFT) have developed a manifesto on behalf of cultural diversity. The manifesto aims to “encourage all those professionally engaged in the field of literary translation to commit themselves to an output that is culturally diverse.” It is available at :
Stratégie à moyen terme 2002-2007. UNESCO 2001.
This document describes the activities undertaken by UNESCO in areas under its jurisdiction—including culture—to foster peace, human development, and the construction of knowledge societies. It lays out strategic objectives to meet, strategies to implement, and the hoped-for results. Through its strategic objectives 7 and 8, UNESCO intends between now and 2007 to a) promote the development and use of standards-based instruments in the cultural sector and b) protect cultural diversity and encourage pluralism and dialog between cultures and civilizations.
Last May 21, Organisation internationale pour la Francophonie (OIF) joined with UNESCO to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue, and Development? In this regard, OIF secretary general Abdou Diouf reaffirmed the French-speaking world’s commitment to “actively contributing to UNESCO’s adoption of an international convention on cultural diversity that enshrines the rights of states and governments to maintain, establish, and develop support policies for culture and cultural diversity.” Mr. Diouf made mention of the fact that OIF and other linguistic communities were cooperating to advance negotiations on an international convention on cultural diversity within UNESCO.
As part of its 2002–2007 medium term strategy (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001223/122379f.pdf) for fostering peace and human development in an era of globalization, UNESCO has created and lent its support to the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity. Designed as a partnership between the private and public sectors and civil society, the Global Alliance aims to promote and protect cultural diversity by emphasizing the production and circulation of cultural goods on a global scale. It is hoped that the Alliance’s efforts will lead to a) a broader and more diversified range of cultural products from multiple sources worldwide, b) a better balance between the national and foreign cultural products available in developing countries through the sustainable development of endogenous cultural industries, and c) general mobilization in favor of cultural diversity to facilitate trade negotiations on cultural goods and services.
Le Monde, jeudi 12 juin 2003
The question of cultural exemption resurfaced when it came time to approve the future Constitution for European Union. France has asked that the unanimity rule be maintained as a cultural exemption clause in trade negotiations on cultural and audiovisual services. A number of parties involved have put forward similar amendments, which were not retained by authorities. Remarking that the section of the draft devoted to the common trade policy “was silent” on the subject, Pascale Andréani declared that “If this section is not included in the treaty, the constitution has no chance of being ratified in France.” (Available in French only)
Paris, le jeudi 22 mai 2003
Mr. Abdou Diouf states that culture has its own logic and cannot be reduced to the mere exchange of money, which explains the need to create a new right whose primary goal is to legitimize the right of states to support their own cultural development through public policies. According to Mr. Diouf, this right will also encourage cultural diversity by enabling each country to distribute its cultural works worldwide. Mr. Diouf also stresses that only UNESCO has the necessary legitimacy to develop this right within the international system. Agreeing with professor Ivan Bernier’s proposals, Mr. Diouf declares that “the numerous efforts undertaken at UNESCO and in other arenas to define the scope of a future instrument on cultural diversity also make it relatively easy to create a draft document that would be suitable for submission to the 2005 general conference.” (Available in French only)
Mercredi 30 avril 2003
In this presentation to Cabinet, Jean-Jacques Aillagon states that the film industry is a key cultural and economic player for France and that its vitality and current success depend not only on the talents of its professionals, but also on the original funding system France has put in place. “This system must be preserved,” he declares. In this regard, Mr. Aillagon discusses where French public policy on the film industry is headed. On a multilateral level, the priority of French public authorities is to promote cultural diversity and preserve the right of states to support their cultural industries. “In this spirit, France is staying on the lookout to ensure that no proposals to liberalize cultural and audiovisual services are introduced by the European Union during negotiations at the WTO.” France, emphasizes Mr. Aillagon, is also a firm supporter of the efforts by the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) to spur the adoption of a binding international instrument on cultural diversity within UNESCO. Mr. Aillagon also states that France is committed to conserving its ability to defend cultural diversity in international trade negotiations. “This is why the highest-ranking French authorities have spoken out in debates on the Convention on the Future of Europe in favor of maintaining unanimity in trade decisions on cultural and audiovisual services.” (Available in French only)
Contribution des unions de radiodiffusion du monde au prepcom-2. 17 février 2003
This position statement of the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) for the World Information Summit that will be held this December in Geneva stresses broadcasters’ commitment and contribution to promoting such fundamental values as freedom of expression, access to information, media pluralism, and cultural diversity. According to the WBU, these fundamental values and objectives “should be an integral part of all media systems and the information society in general, especially within the context of globalization.” The WBU declares that “independent broadcasting services play a key role at a national or regional level in providing impartial information, safeguarding media pluralism, and contributing to cultural diversity, notably by encouraging culture and local/regional audiovisual production.” (Available in French only)