Cultural diversity

The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 5, no 27, Monday, September 19, 2005

Toward adoption of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at UNESCO in October 2005: We must stay the course and keep up the pressure!


Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Recent Publications


Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Mission Québec - Chine 2005: Québec and China discuss adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in October 2005

Gouvernement du Québec, le 13 septembre 2005 – 2005/09/13

A Government of Québec press release reports that Québec premier Jean Charest will head a large delegation of over 150 business representatives from the economic, cultural, and educational sectors on a mission to China (Mission Québec/China 2005) from September 22 to 29, with a view to stepping up cooperation with the Asian country. The main purpose of this mission is to support the efforts by business people and representatives from the educational, cultural and tourism communities to get a foothold in the Chinese market and strengthen ties with this emerging economic powerhouse ,” stated the premier. As the Chinese Information Agency XINHUA reports, “The main focus of this mission will be the economy, but education, culture, and science and technology will also play an important part. Other topics of discussion will include construction, transportation, information technology, tourism, investment and financial services, architecture, and urban planning.

At a meeting with the president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, on September 9 in Québec City, Premier Charest raised the question of cultural diversity, and explained the Québec government’s strong support for the UNESCO draft Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,which will be submitted to the UNESCO General Assembly in the fall of 2005. President Jintao noted that China has always supported the draft Convention to date. He also mentioned that the main cultural diversity challenge for China is the protection of traditional cultures in the face of globalization. Minister of international relations Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, who will accompany the premier on this mission, reminded Canadian Press that “Québec is looking for China to maintain its support when UNESCO votes next month on the draft Convention on the diversity of cultural expressions.” [05-27]

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5th Francophone Conference of INGOs: “The struggle to uphold cultural diversity is at the very core of our concerns, because cultural pluralism is a cornerstone of peace, and one of the ways to control globalization.”

Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Ouagadougou, le 12 septembre 2005 – 2005/09/12

At the invitation of Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), representatives of the 63 international nongovernmental organizations and other international civil society organizations accredited by OIF met in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on September 12 and 13, 2005. They were there to attend the 5th Francophone Conference of INGOs and to play a more active role in the Francophonie’s efforts to promote democracy, cultural diversity, education, and sustainable development. Mr. Diouf took advantage of the occasion to affirm the organization’s vision of a pluralistic world in which differences are expressed through constructive dialog and the competencies of all are mobilized to their full advantage. However, he stressed that the Francophonie “cannot achieve this goal alone. On the contrary, it must draw on all the representative and credible actors of civil society that you speak for.” Mr. Diouf pointed out that one of his organization’s main ambitions is to strengthen dialog and cooperation mechanisms between INGOs, NGOs, and other civil society organizations in the areas of democracy, human rights, and cultural diversity. In the development field, Mr. Diouf hopes to build partnerships to facilitate access to international financing, infrastructure, and microfinance.

On the specific issue of cultural diversity, Mr. Diouf described the key role civil society can play, in partnership with the Francophonie, to meet the challenges of tomorrow and defend the ideals and values it promotes on the international scene. “Starting in 2001, the Francophonie initiated efforts to mobilize the francophone states and step up cooperation at the UNESCO level with the various civil society organizations involved in cultural diversity. These initiatives in connection with the draft international Convention due for completion in October have been extremely productive. The struggle to uphold cultural diversity is at the very core of our concerns, because cultural pluralism is a cornerstone of peace, and one of the ways to control globalization.” [05-27]

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Recent Publications

‘Partnerships on the Move’ - International conference on the development of cultural industries

The Global Alliance , UNESCO, September 12–13, 2005 – 2005/09/12-13

The Global Alliance international conference ‘Partnerships on the Move’ took place in Paris, 12 – 13 September 2005 (See our Newsletter no. 24, July 25, 2005). The conference, inaugurated by the Director General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, was also a chance for the participants—members of the Global Alliance, companies, representatives from civil society, government organizations and national delegations to UNESCO, as well as a wide range of other actors involved in cultural industries and the press—to take stock of the achievements of the Global Alliance and develop new plans for the future.

The conference addressed the development of cultural industries and creative cities through four main round table themes: From creation to distribution - forging the chain of skills: this panel discussion 1 aimed to show how vital it is to recognize the interdependence of public and private stakeholders in any strategy to promote cultural industries as a vehicle for economic and social development. In this context, the participants examined how strategic partnerships between these links in the creative chain can contribute to the adoption and implementation of appropriate sectoral policies and initiatives that are capable of stimulating a suitable environment for the development of small and medium-sized cultural enterprises.

In panel discussion 2: Stimulate and diversify markets – the role of businesses, participants postulated that businesses play a pivotal role in the creation and development of markets.. They analyzed how to contribute to a more diverse and equitable offering of cultural goods and services; how to promote professionalization and stimulate a culture of “entrepreneurship” in order to ensure cultural sector competitiveness in developing countries; and how businesses in the North can use their expertise, resources, and skills to contribute effectively to achieving these objectives in the framework of the Global Alliance.

In p anel discussion 3: Fostering respect for rights – piracy prevention , the panelists stressed the importance of protecting intellectual property and preventing piracy as indispensable measures for boosting creativity and developing sustainable cultural industries. They recognized that the protection of intellectual property rights and the prevention of piracy are key factors in the growth of cultural industries. In this context, they examined how the combined efforts of industry, governments and professional organizations, as promoted by the Global Alliance, can raise public awareness about the issues and fight effectively against piracy.

Panel discussion 4 was centered on Creative cities : Sharing know-how at the local level. By launching the Creative Cities Network in the fields of literature, cinema, music, folk art, design, media arts and gastronomy, the Global Alliance seeks to harness the creative, social and economic potential of cultural industries at a local level. In this regard, the panelists analyzed how such a network of cities in developed and developing countries can promote the sharing of knowledge and best practices among small and medium-sized enterprises and local authorities on an international level, and what the Network’s impact will be on worldwide recognition of these cities. [05-27]

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Creative Industries

John Hartley, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2005

In this book, John Hartley, Dean of the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology of Australia,traces the emergence of the creative industries and then leads the reader to discover what and where the creative industries are.

The book is organized in six sections, the first three addressing creativity as it pertains to the world, identities and practices, while the last three sections focus on specific issues that are becoming more relevant in today’s social, political and economic arena, namely creative cities, creative enterprises and creative economies. The author cites numerous concrete examples to illustrate and clarify his theory. [05-27]

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Keys to Successful Cultural Enterprise Development in Developing Countries

Yarri Kamara, UNESCO Arts and Cultural Enterprise Division, December 1, 2004, 55 pages – 2004/12/01

In this working paper p repared for UNESCO Arts and Cultural Enterprise Division and developed for Phase II of Artists in Development (AiD), Yarri Kamara examines the needs and weaknesses that cultural enterprises in developing countries manifest to illuminate the challenges that cultural enterprise development must address. He also analyses practices needed for successful cultural entrepreneurship to suggest strategies for cultural enterpreneurs and cultural enterprise development programmes.

The Artists in Development Programme (AiD) is an initiative coordinated by UNESCO's Arts and Cultural Enterprise Division with funding from the Norwegian government. The programme is designed to foster skills among artists and creators in developing countries that can be turned into income-generating activities. Launched in 1999, the first phase of AiD, consisted of a series of ten workshops in diverse artistic disciplines in all regions of the world. The second phase that started in 2004 focuses on capacity building for cultural enterprises. [05-27]

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Culture and cultural policies for development , Kiev, 15-16 September 2005

At the invitation of Ukrainian authorities, the Council of Europe held a seminar in Kiev on September 15 and 16 for culture ministers from the South Caucasus countries on the theme Culture and cultural policies for development. This 5th ministerial seminar, organized as part of the STAGE project, was organized to spur cultural dialog between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and help them develop cultural policies and consolidate their respective democracies.

This year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention, the seminar was open to all 48 signatory countries. Topics on the agenda included cultural diversity and social cohesion, cultural tourism, and cultural funding. During the seminar, participating culture ministers also took stock of the accomplishments of the STAGE project since 2004, and drew up a number of guidelines for monitoring the project to help it foster the development of national cultural policies. [05-27]

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Creative City Network Conference 2005: Planning and sustaining creative communities, October 12-15, 2005, Trois-Rivières, Québec

The Creative City Network is organizing a conference on the theme Planning and Sustaining Creative Cities in Trois-Rivières, Québec, from October 12 to 15. The Network connects creative cities so that they can share experiences, know-how, training in business skills and technology on a global level.  This facilitates local capacity building that encourages diversity of cultural products in domestic and international markets, employment generation and social and economic development . In Canada, the Creative City Network is an organization of people employed by municipalities working on arts, culture and heritage policy, planning, development and support.

The Conference will open with a pre-conference day which will immerse participants in the rich heritage of Trois-Rivières (founded in 1634) and enable in-depth and on-location discussions on the opportunities and challenges of creating and presenting meaningful experiences rooted in a community’s history and heritage resources. Within the framework of workshops, participants will approach topics such as: The Creation of a Creative City (How do we meaningfully integrate cultural development and cultural vibrancy into the perspectives on creative cities and communities? How do we make cultural considerations an integral dimension of community development and sustainability?); Developing cultural infrastructure, piece by piece (Participants will discuss the evolution of a few recently developed facilities – from needs identification, to partnership building, to the lessons learned as the construction begins and evolves); Models of Governing and Managing Cultural Facilities (exploration of various options of government-run or non-profit-organization–run art or cultural centers); Positioning Culture in the Land of Competing Priorities; The funding process and ecosystem: Working together to plan for, nurture, and support cultural development. The Conference will end with regional networking sessions. This eventwill allow conference participants to meet and discuss issues affecting their own regions. [05-27]

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City and Creative Media - UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2005, Seoul, Republic of Korea, October 18-20, 2005

Young artists from around the world will be invited to take part in UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2005 devoted to the theme of "City and Creative Media". This year's edition of the Award is organized in association with Art Center NABI, a prestigious centre for new media art in Seoul, Republic of Korea from October 18 to 20, 2005.

The Award would be delivered by the Director General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura to non-realized project proposals in order to embrace a wider audience of creators, who have the innovative artistic ideas but not necessarily the means. The call specifically aims at encouraging young emerging artists to cultivate new forms of expressions using new media and technology in reflecting on how urban spaces and city environments could be transformed into creative outlets. The award-winning projects would be selected by an international jury, assembled on this occasion representing the five geo-cultural regions (Africa, Arab States, Asia/Pacific, Europe/North America, and Latin America/Caribbean). [05-27]

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Capturing Cultural Statistics for Policy Makers – October 20-21, 2005, Bogota – Colombia

In an initiative that aims to facilitate better-informed policymaking, the Global Alliance will sponsor a seminar on 20–21 October in Bogota, Colombia, to discuss the challenges and advantages of satellite accounts for the cultural sector.

Convinced that they constitute a remarkable source of income and employment for the domestic economy, Colombian authorities have been working to produce a series of descriptive reports that provide an accurate picture of the local cultural industries. Further to this effort, and through this seminar, the Colombian Ministry of Culture intends to establish a methodological framework for the development of a cultural information system. [05-27]

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The 2005 Creative Clusters Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, October 24-26, 2005

The Third International Creative Clusters Conference – Belfast 2005. This major gathering of international experts in the development of creative industries is organized in cooperation with the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Belfast 2005 is a networking and peer-learning event that brings together creative industry entrepreneurs, policymakers and practitioners in an effort to breed innovation, development and the exchange of ideas. In this context, three key policy issues will be examined for cultural industry development practitioners and policymakers within the framework of the Conference: Investing in Creativity; Delivering Skills for Creativity; and Inclusion through Creativity. These case studies will illustrate three main lessons: the role of a global network in local capacity building; the evolving economic impact of culture and creativity in creative cities; and the growing role of local policymakers in international development. Moreover, the efforts of the Creative Cities Network will highlight the pragmatic results that can be achieved in bringing together cultural stakeholders under a common framework. 

Creative Clusters is an international conference and network for people working in the development of creative industries. Creative Clusters is interested in regeneration and development projects that deliver outcomes in both cultural and economic terms. Its goal is to help people engaged in the development of creative industries to communicate and share resources with one another. [05-27]

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The World Forum on Cultural Diversity, Hangzhou, China, November 7-9, 2005

The World Forum on Cultural Diversity will take place in Hangzhou from November 7-9,2005. Organized by the Foundation for Globalization Cooperation ( China) in cooperation with UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity, this high-level forum will explore the complex relationship between globalization and cultural diversity, looking at both the enormous potential that modern information and communication technologies and global trade offer to promote diversity and how to avoid the standardization and uniformity of cultures.

Participants will include ministers of culture from around the world as well as representatives of the private sector and not-for-profit organizations. They will analyze issues such as Sustaining diversity in cultural goods and services; Creative City Development and Cultural Diversity; Human aspects of cultural diversity in a globalized world; Cultural Renaissance in the Globalization Era. These discussions, preceded by a culture ministers’ round table, will provide attendees with a platform to develop innovative models of cooperation and partnerships between public authorities, civil society and the business community so as to build a harmonious global society that truly reaps the benefits of globalization. [05-27]

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