Vol. 6, no 12, Monday, April 10, 2006
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: The ratification phase is now underway!
Speech by Québec prime minister Jean Charest
Photo : Paul Ducharme
IN THIS ISSUE :
The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions has been adopted at the 33rd session of the General Conference last October 20, 2005, by the UNESCO Member States. So that it may become effective, 30 States must ratify it. So far, Canada has been the only State that ratified this Convention.
Why must States ratify this Convention? To find out about it, consult the January 16th issue of our Bulletin
On the occasion of the recent visit of the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr. Ramgoolam, at UNESCO, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, congratulated Mauritius for becoming the first (and only country so far) that has ratified the three Cultural Conventions for the preservation of the cultural diversity: the 1972 Cultural Heritage Convention, the 2003 Convention on the preservation of intangible heritage and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Mauritius, thus, becomes the 2nd country, after Canada, to ratify the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. There would still be 28 ratifications so that this Convention may become effective.
On the occasion of the response to the general debate of the Executive Board at its 174th session being held in Paris from March 28 to April 13, 2006, the Director-General of the UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura notes that “several Member States had already entered into the ratification procedure" of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted by the UNESCO 33rd session of the General Conference last October 20, 2005. In this respect, he declared: « I can but show my satisfaction to observe as it is that the UNESCO instruments in the cultural domain, notably the three major Conventions, acquire true legitimacy with the Member States ».
While congratulating "most particularly Mauritius which is the only one, to this day, that has ratified the three Cultural", Mr. Matsuura notably underlined: « Several meetings and communication materials have been forecast during this two-year period, particularly outside our headquarters, to increase the Member States’ awareness to the stakes of the 2005 Convention. Four feasibility studies from regional observatories on the cultural diversity have also been launched. The development of partnerships in view of the effective protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions will also be at the very heart of our efforts ».
La 59e session du Francophonie Permanent Council (CPF) gathered in Paris le 6 avril the personal representatives of the 53 Heads of Member States and Governments of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). On this occasion, OIF secretary-general Abdou Diouf, invited insistently the member States and Governments of la Francophonie to ratify in the best possible delay the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted by the UNESCO last October 20, 2005. «We are all conscious of the necessity to proceed as quickly as possible to the ratification of the instrument in order for this Convention to fully play its role », he added.
The meeting also studied the state of preparation for the coming Francophonie Summit to be held next September 28 and 29 in Bucharest, Rumania. To that effect, it must be recalled that a resolution of the 21st session of the Francophone Ministerial Conference (CMF) in Madagascar on November 22 and 23, "recommends that the member States and Governments of la Francophonie and Unesco implement as soon as possible the ratification procedures of this UNESCO Convention and deposit the instrument of ratification before the Unesco Secretariat, without any delay, and in any event, before the next OIF summit in Bucharest".
Trade Ministers from European Union Member States (EU) and those from the 10 Mediterranean countries members of the Barcelona Process met on Friday 24 March 2006 in Marrakech, Morocco, for the 5th Euro-Med Trade Conference to foster trade and economic relations across the Mediterranean. During this meeting, Trade Ministers have expected reinforce their commitment to the creation of an integrated Euro-Mediterranean Free trade area by 2010.
In the margin of the Ministerial conference, European Commissioner for External Trade Peter Mandelson formally launched the negotiations on the liberalisation of trade in services and improvements to rules for establishing businesses throughout the Euro-Med region, with a first group of Mediterranean countries (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Tunisia). Speaking before his departure to Marrakech, Commissioner Mandelson said: "The opening of services trade between the EU and the countries of the Mediterranean will benefit economic growth and stimulate investment. Launching these services negotiations is an important milestone on the road to a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area".
What is the return on investment for culture? How is the value of an investment in a cultural activity understood? What are the culture superpowers in the world? These are some of the questions to which Making the Case for Culture, a new study project made possible through the collaboration of the Foundation Louise T. Blouin with OECD, will attempt to answer. Indeed, the project tries to measure the economic importance of culture over a sample of key member countries of OECD. To do so, Making the Case for Culture will offer the Foundation Louise T. Blouin a tool to reach its goal of promoting a better understanding of the economic value of arts and creative sectors as well as the key role of cultural activities towards increasing quality of living.
Besides, this project comes within the framework of the program of the Foundation Culture Beyond Borders, which supports regeneration of culture and co-operation among cultures and which encourages worldwide dissemination of new knowledge regarding culture and creativity through accessible channels. The goal of the Foundation is to discover solid evidence in favour of cultural investments by offering more convincing facts about the positive effect of culture investments on a country’s economy and quality of living.
In this regard, Louise T. Blouin MacBain, founder and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation declares: « We must encourage investments into culture, not only for pleasure, but also because it is at the heart of what distinguishes us and of our understanding of other cultures, beliefs and traditions. We will inspire decision-makers and politicians in restructuring educational programs in order to develop higher levels of creativity and cultural consciousness. Donald Johnston, OECD secretary-general, on his part declares: « In this globalisation era, mainly oriented towards industry and productivity, it is important not to lose track of things that improve life such as culture. We have undertaken to tackle quality of living problems within the Statistics Panorama of the OECD and we are delighted that the Foundation Louise T. Blouin shares our vision by co-operating with us on this most interesting endeavour ».
In other respects, the Foundation Louise T. Blouin, in partnership with OECD, intends in due time to design a "creativity report card" for each nation by collecting a regularly updated set of data which will facilitate the study of the state of the world creative economy.
The 7th World Conference on Media Economy will take place in Beijing, China, from May 15 to 19, 2006. This year’s edition deals closer with globalisation ventures, diversity and identity, applied to this sector. Indeed, according to the promoters of this event, media industry globalisation raises questions about economic, social, cultural, legal and technological impacts liable to follow from it, and the conference will pay particular attention to foster the debates around those subjects.
An immense wave of innovation continues to sweep through the global newspaper industry, bringing success in its wake for the companies that are seizing the new opportunities and embracing change. And as the internet matures, newspapers are increasingly diversifying and extending their digital services and products, with more and more profitable results. It is with these opportunities analysis in mind that the World Association of Newspapers organises the 59th World Newspaper Congress, 13th World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo in Moscow, Russia, from 4 to 7 June 2006, to update on these and other key developments in the industry, with the very latest data and information on global newspaper trends, examining new publications, new advertising and circulation strategies, new digital product development, and new business practices.
Under the theme: "A New Era of Innovation", The 2006 Congress, which will precede, by a few weeks, the first hosting by Russia of the G8 economic and political summit, will focus on the immense wave of innovation that continues to sweep through the global newspaper industry. It evolves around three round tables focused respectively on Digital Media, Freedom of the Press and Winners’ Strategies for the New Generation. A case study will deal specifically on the way the New York Times incorporates its contents to create new products and new sources of income.
The Editors Forum will focus on what newspapers can do to adapt to the changing habits of the "free generation". The conference will look at such topics as embracing citizen journalism, offering broadband services, developing weekend editions and supplements, protecting newspaper credibility, and much more.
Info Services Expo 2006 will showcase the new services and technologies that are shaping the newspaper of the future. The Expo offers newspaper executives a chance to learn about the latest products and services from suppliers to the industry
The World Summit on Arts and Culture, hosted by Arts Council England, will take place in NewcastleGateshead, England between 14 and 17 June 2006, with optional cultural events on 18 June 2006. The Summit, organised in partnership with the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), will focus on the theme of regeneration through arts and culture ‘Transforming places, transforming lives’, and aims for it at allowing the sharing out of world level exemplary practices and at discussing topics having to do with arts and cultural regeneration.
The World Summit 2006, which follows the previous World Summits in Singapore in 2003 and Canada in 2000, is open to decision makers and those responsible for policies in these fields, including Ministries of Arts and Culture, members and associates of IFACCA, practitioners operating within those fields, government agencies involved with art and culture, foundations, local Governments mayors, as well as researchers and professionals specialised in cultural policy.
The Global Forum on Cultural Diversity took place in Hangzhou, China, on 7-9 November, 2005. Organised by the Foundation for Globalisation Cooperation, (China), in cooperation with UNESCO’s Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity, this high-level Forum explored the complex relation between globalization and cultural diversity and the enormous potential that modern information and communication technologies and global trade hold for promoting diversity, as well as avoiding the standardization and uniformization of culture.
Participants included ministers of culture from many different countries as well as representatives from the private sector and not-for-profit organizations. The Forum also analyzed innovative models of cooperation and partnership between public authorities , civil society and the business community designed to help build a harmonious global society and really capture the benefits of globalization.