Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 3, no 8, Monday, April 7, 2003

Submission to the department of foreign affairs and trade's office of trade negotiations by the australian coalition for cultural diversity (ACCD)

IN THIS ISSUE :

Other News of Interest



Other News of Interest

Negotiations for a free trade agreement between australia and the united states of america. submission to the department of foreign affairs and trade's office of trade negotiations by the australian coalition for cultural diversity (ACCD)

January 15, 2003

In this report, the Australian Coalition for Cultural Diversity suggests that a free trade agreement between Australia and the United States could have a negative impact on Australian cultural exports. It recommends that specific rights be maintained or affirmed, notably the right to subsidize, impose local content quotas, and grant preferential treatment in the procurement of cultural goods and services. The ACCD maintains that without the proposed cultural exemption, the Australian government might lose the ability to exercise its rights to support Australian culture and promote diverse cultural expression. In conclusion, the government of the Australian Commonwealth having acknowledged explicitly through international forums and implicitly through its cultural policies and subsidies that Australian cultural life cannot be sustained without such support, the ACCD believes that these rights should be firmly protected in negotiations with the United States since its commercial weight in the cultural sector far exceeds that of Australia. (Available in English only)

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Maroc : libre-échange : les enjeux d'un accord

Mardi 21 janvier 2003

Observers agree that these trade negotiations expected to lead to a free trade agreement between Morocco and the United States will be difficult and long due to differences between the two parties. Nevertheless, Morocco is opposed to liberalizing the cultural sector, the goods and services of which “cannot be sold as mere goods of trade.” (Available in French only)

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Diversité culturelle : la culture, levier de la renaissance africaine

Le Quotidien, édition du samedi 22 mars 2003

In this article, Mr. Babacar Diop maintains that in order to make a difference in decisions involving the future Convention on Cultural Diversity being discussed in the current UNESCO Executive Board session ending on April 15, Africa must take action, develop a strategy, and agree on clear visions. The African states must also form national coalitions on cultural diversity. According to the author, these conditions are required “in order to develop a document that takes the countries’ aspirations into account.” This instrument, which in some respects complements other international agreements, “will restore to the states the right and duty to apply cultural policies attuned to the aspirations of their people.” (Available in French only)

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Eu media policy: « culture and competition » « 5th conference on competition law » of the institute for european studies of san pablo-ceu university

Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Education and Culture. Madrid, 27th march 2003

In this speech on the European Union’s audiovisual policy, Ms Reding discusses the effects of competition on audiovisual media and culture. She maintains that the audiovisual and media industry is unlike other industries and does not simply produce goods to sell on the market. It is a cultural industry par excellence, despite its economic importance. She states that the European Union will take cultural aspects into account in applying its law on competition in order to respect and promote the diversity of its cultures. She also asserts that the Commission is applying the “cultural derogation” specified in the Treaty on the European Union in order to ensure favorable treatment for the cultural sector. To this end, the Commission is implementing a solution that ensures a balance between the objectives of cultural creation, the development of audiovisual production, and compliance with Community law. Ms Reding further asserts that the Commission wishes to give this sector greater legal certainty as regards the application of competition rules and to ensure that the cultural dimension is fully taken into account. (Available in English only)

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Le canada fait son offre initiale dans les négociations de l'OMC sur les services

31 mars 2003

The Government of Canada has released its initial conditional offer as part of ongoing WTO negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This offer contains the market access commitments it wishes to undertake in Canada’s services sector in exchange for greater access to foreign services markets. In keeping with what the Government of Canada has heard from Canadians, Canada has submitted no offer in the areas of health, public education, social services, or culture. (Available in French and English only).

Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international

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