Vol. 3, no 15, Monday, May 26, 2003
Journée mondiale de la diversité culturelle pour le dialogue et le développement
In an effort to continuously improve the services we provide you, we have added a new “Current Events” section to our Website. In it, you will find all the weekly cultural diversity news that subscribers receive in our electronic newsletter. Content from this new section and our mailings will then be archived by date in the appropriate sections of our Website, such as “Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations,” “Publications/Studies,” and “International Monitor.” Visit the new section now at
IN THIS ISSUE :
Québec, le 21 mai 2003. 2003/05/21
In this joint press release, Deputy Premier and Minister of International Relations Ms Monique Gagnon-Tremblay and Minister of Culture and Communications Ms Line Beauchamp reaffirm Québec’s desire to protect cultural diversity and support culture. Ms Gagnon-Tremblay reiterates “Québec’s stance of never letting up in its quest to exclude culture from all trade liberalization agreements,” whereas Ms Beauchamp declares that “domestic cultural policies cannot be dictated solely by market forces and international trade agreements.” (Available in French only)
Ottawa, le 22 mai 2003. 2003/05/22
At the conclusion of French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s official visit to Canada, Mr. Raffarin and Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Jean Chrétien issued a joint declaration on cultural diversity. In it, they stressed that Canada and France support “UNESCO’s development of a legally binding international convention that sets out clear rules and enables any country to implement policies for promoting cultural diversity from a perspective of international openness.” Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Raffarin also asserted that “together with our trading partners, we will therefore ensure the complementarity of the UNESCO convention and the multilateral trade system.” (Available in French and English only)
Le mardi 20 mai 2003
In this declaration, European film agency directors are fully in favor of maintaining the unanimity rule. They consider it “absolutely necessary for our states to be able to decide on international trade policy on cultural and audiovisual services based on mutual agreement, as under the current Treaty. Unanimity is the only effective way to preserve the diversity of our national cultural policies, allow their free development in each country, and guarantee their very future.” (Available in French and English only)
Assemblée générale, 57e session, Rapport de la Deuxième Commission. 20 février 2003. 
Groupe d’études et de recherches sur les mondialisations (GERM) is organizing the first Université des Mondialisations on June 4 to 6, 2003, in Paris under the theme “Cultural Diversity, Globalization & Globalizations” in partnership with UNESCO and the French ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, and Culture and Communication. This edition will feature some fifty speakers, including international researchers, artists, cultural professionals, and students who will discuss various aspects of cultural diversity. Visit GERM’s Website for an event overview (http://www.mondialisations.org/mondial/php/public/art_visu.php?r=dc) and program information (http://www.mondialisations.org/mondial/php/public/art_visu.php?r=dc).
Under Resolution 57/249, the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed May 21 of each year “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.” This theme was chosen because it is a “key concern for humanity,” and “celebrating it is a way to raise public awareness. This is why the resolution calls for both international and national action.” http://www.un.org/events/ref42.htm
Internationally, a number of events were held at UNESCO headquarters to celebrate the Day, including documentary screenings (http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php@URL_ID=12283&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html) and a “Dialogue of Cultures for Peace” round table discussion in cooperation with the Joint Program Commission NGO/UNESCO (http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php@URL_ID=12281&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html).
The UNESCO Director-General spoke to the international community to stress the paramount importance of this event (http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php@URL_ID=12263&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html).
The United Nations has also created a Website on cultural diversity called “The UN Works for Cultural Diversity” (http://www.un.org/NewLinks/ and http://www.un.org/works/culture/index.html).
Here at home, the Government of Québec has placed special emphasis on World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Read the joint press release on this topic by Deputy Premier and Minister of International Relations Ms Monique Gagnon-Tremblay (http://communiques.gouv.qc.ca/gouvqc/communiques/GPQF/Mai2003/21/c4149.html) and Minister of Culture and Communications Ms Line Beauchamp (http://mcc.quebectel.qc.ca/sites/mcc/communiq.nsf/42e18349a0462c5185256b7200747b27/a577960d0cd336c485256d2d006066a2!OpenDocument).
Le mercredi 7 mai 2003
In this news item, Radio-Canada draws attention to Québec Premier Mr. Jean Charest’s affirmation that his government will tirelessly defend cultural diversity and oppose any inclusion of culture in major trade agreements. Mr. Charest also declared that “Québec will do its utmost to preserve its right to promote its culture” and will never let up in its “quest to exclude culture from all trade liberalization agreements.” (Available in French only)
Ottawa, le 22 mai 2003
According to Minister of Canadian Heritage Ms Sheila Copps and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Bill Graham, the purpose of this international secretariat will be to “promote cultural diversity internationally.” Executive Vice President of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity Mr. Robert Pilon states, “We look forward to working in parallel with the Government of Canada and the International Network on Cultural Policy to build alliances internationally that will help advance cultural policies and promote a convention to enshrine the fundamental right of governments to preserve and promote cultural diversity.” (Available in French and English only)
Gouvernement du Canada
Quotidien le soleil du sénégal, édition du jeudi 22 mai 2003
With the UNESCO regional representative of culture and the president of Commission nationale de la Francophonie on hand, Senegal’s Minister of Culture and Communication Mr. Abdou Fall officiated the ceremony celebrating World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and the general assembly establishing Coalition nationale pour la diversité culturelle du Sénégal. Mr. Fall declared that “the purpose of a national coalition for cultural diversity is to allow the national and international circulation, distribution, and promotion of cultural products.” (Available in French only)
Strasbourg, le 22 mai 2003
In response to a letter from the president of the Assembly of European Regions calling on French President Mr. Jacques Chirac and his government to maintain their “firm position in defending cultural diversity,” President Chirac replies that he fully supports “the AER position on the need for a firm stance in favor of cultural diversity within ongoing discussions on the Constitutional Treaty.” (Available in French and English only)
Assemblée des régions d’Europe
14 mai 2003
France’s ministers of Culture and Foreign Trade, Mr. Aillagon and Mr. Loos, are calling on the convention’s presidium to include in its proposal a mechanism to protect the cultural, education, and health sectors. This request follows the publication of new proposals by the convention. The French ministers are in favor of maintaining the Treaty of Nice provisions and intend to submit amendment proposals. (Available in French only)
Entretien avec viviane reding, commissaire européenne à l'éducation et à la culture. le monde, le 07 mai 2003
In an interview with Mr. Thomas Ferenczi, Ms Reding asserts that the French government is justified in demanding that the unanimity rule be maintained when it comes time to decide on the European position on audiovisual services in WTO negotiations. In this area, the European Union must act “in accordance with all member states in order to protect the future.” Ms Reding declares that “jurisdiction over culture must be shared among the member states of the European Union. This would show that culture is something we create not only in our own countries, but with other Europeans.” (Available in French only)