Vol. 3, no 3, Monday, March 3, 2003
La problématique commerce-culture et ses conséquences sur la diversité culturelle : des enjeux qui concernent le Quebec
Please be advised that the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) has placed a link on its site to various documents related to the ministerial meeting of the working group on cultural diversity and globalization that was held on February 5 and 6, 2003, in Paris. You can consult these documents at—
IN THIS ISSUE :
Chiha, Mireille - Observatoire des Amériques, janvier 2003, 11 p.
This study highlights the consequences of trade liberalization on the cultural sector and affirms that “without the recognition of the right of states to establish cultural policies that foster the respect and preservation of different cultures, cultural diversity will remain a vague notion without any practical applications.” The author begins by examining the various definitions of the concept of cultural diversity, then looks in turn at the impact of globalization on cultural diversity and the Québec government’s position on current trade agreement negotiations and a new international instrument on cultural diversity. Given the proliferation of declarations and texts that do not provide effective protection of cultural diversity, the author argues that it is “legitimate to believe in the need for a multilateral treaty that all states will have the opportunity to sign and ratify.” She goes on to describe proposed solutions, notably from Québec, involving the adoption of a new international instrument on cultural diversity to “promote the human dimension of globalization.”
The Executive Board, a constitutional organ of UNESCO made up of 58 member states, has added the elaboration of an international convention on cultural diversity to the agenda for its 166th session, which will be held from March 31 to April 16, 2003, in Paris. This point was proposed by Germany, Canada, France, Greece, Morocco, Mexico, Monaco, and Senegal. You can view the document on the UNESCO Website in the “Executive Board” section.
Le Monde, 3 février 2003
In a recent speech, the president of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, proposed that the international community adopt an “international convention on cultural diversity,” to be drawn up by UNESCO by 2005, that would proclaim the equal worth of all cultures. Mr. Chirac declared that “creative works” must be exempted from international trade negotiations and reiterated his “firm opposition to the use of the qualified majority vote in international trade negotiations covering cultural and audiovisual services.” His speech came under the Rencontres de Paris, held to discuss the possibility of a binding international legal body “that would make it possible to definitively exclude culture from all commercial negotiations, by the WTO or any other organization.” (Available in French only)
07 février 2003
On February 6, 2003, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, received sixteen of the Ministers of Culture who are attending the Ministerial Meeting of the INCP being held in Paris. During their discussion, the ministers reaffirmed their conviction that UNESCO should forge ahead with the preparation of a convention on cultural diversity. In response, M. Koïchiro Matsuura said that he was “fully aware of the need to fill this gap in the international legal system” and expressed the hope that there would be “a broad consensus within UNESCO’s governing bodies so that such a convention may have every chance of coming into being within a short space of time.” (Available in English and French only)