Vol. 7, no 13, Monday, April 30, 2007
The Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
IN THIS ISSUE :
UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came into effect on Sunday, March 18, 2007. At press time, 57 states had ratified the treaty. More than ever, the mobilization campaign to encourage Member States who haven’t already done so to ratify the treaty must continue with commitment and conviction. The Convention’s legitimacy will be directly proportional to the number of countries from all parts of the world that ratify, accept, approve, or join the treaty.
The third session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) was held in Tunis from March 16 to 17, 2007, on the invitation of the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies and under the presidency of Mr. Fouad Mebazaa, President of the Chamber of Deputies and President of EMPA. Regarding expressions of cultural diversity, the Final Declaration of the Presidency emphasized that, based on the discussions and recommendations adopted, EMPA “requests a propellant role of parliaments of Euro Mediterranean countries in the phase of implementation and concrete application of the convention relative to the protection and promotion of cultural expressions' diversities adopted by the 33rd conference of UNESCO held in 2005.”
A further text issuing from the meeting, the Recommendation of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, also contains measures relating to the diversity of cultural expression. Concerning dialogue between cultures and civilizations as well as the promotion of cultural diversity, this document “recalls the substance of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions approved on 20 October 2005 by the 33rd UNESCO General Conference, which, in implementation of sections 8–11 of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity of 2001, enshrines recognition of the particular character of cultural goods and services which, as vehicles of identity, values and meaning, must not be treated as mere commodities or consumer goods.” (Section 6)
Furthermore, in its recommendation, the Committee on Improving Quality of Life, Exchanges between Civil Societies and Culture of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly: “trusts that all Euro-Mediterranean countries will ratify and implement the measures provided for by the UNESCO Convention of 2005, which, among other things, establishes that UNESCO shall contribute to facilitating the gathering, analysis and dissemination of information, statistics and best practices in relation to the diversity of cultural expression and create a data bank on the governmental, private or non profit-making organizations working in the field of cultural expression; urges Parliaments of the Euro-Mediterranean partner countries to play a driving role in the phase of actual implementation of this Convention; recalls that May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity, and encourages Parliaments and Euro-Mediterranean institutions to take an active part in its celebration. » (Section 7)
Appearing in the first 2007 issue of the of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition’s Competition Policy Newsletter, “State aid for films—a policy in motion?” was written jointly by Jérôme Broche, Obhi Chatterjee, Irina Orssich and Nóra Tosics. In the opening paragraph, the authors note that the European Commission approved the new UK and German film support schemes in late 2006. The article explains the application of the state aid rules in these two cases, in particular with regard to recent trends such as the global competition to attract big budget films. It also considers the future perspectives of the Commission's state aid policy in this field. You can read the entire article by clicking here.
Creative Clusters 2007, the 5th annual Conference on the Creative Economy, will be held from November 9 to 14, 2007, in London, England. The organizers are looking for presentations relating to the broad agenda, the creative economy. This year, the conference will focus on four themes: “The Creative Quarter,” “Employment in the Creative Economy,” “Global Creative Hubs,” and “The Creative Crowd.”
The conference organizers note that “the cultural industries are unique among businesses in that they are capable of delivering value in economic, artistic and social terms.” They point out, for example, that “they generate high quality jobs, they project the identity of communities, cities and regions, [and] they promote linguistic and cultural diversity.” If you would like to submit a presentation, the deadline for submissions is May 6, 2007. The conference will take place in English. To find out more about presentation formats, see the guidelines for presenters by clicking here.
The Datey Eyrich Group will be holding a training seminar on culture and socioeconomic development from June 25 to July 6, 2007, in Frankfurt ( Germany). Through two weeks of study and exchange, the participants will learn more about how to assess the cultural dimension of socioeconomic development planning and how to manage cultural enterprises. This international seminar is designed for chief executives and senior civil servants specializing in social and economic development policies and programs, leaders of cultural organizations and cultural entrepreneurs, managers of cultural tourism, and heritage management initiatives, as well as academics and lawyers working on culture and socioeconomic development. The seminar is held twice a year with a summer session from June 25 to July 6 and a fall session from September 17 to 28, 2007. To find out more, click here.
If you are looking for an ideal tool for finding information on cultural policy in the various African countries, we invite you to visit the website of the Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa, (OCPA). (Click here). In addition to information on local and regional cultural policies in Africa, you’ll find links to other useful documents including reports, conclusions, and recommendations. The website also provides links to African and international institutions including foundations, government departments and cooperative agencies, networks and research centers, non-governmental organizations, museums, and so forth.
The OCPA is a pan-African non-governmental organization with the goal of tracking cultural evolution and policy in Africa as well as encouraging its integration into human development strategies through regional and international advocacy, information, research, education, networking, coordination, and cooperation. The Observatory was created in 2002 with the support of the African Union, the Ford Foundation, and UNESCO.
We have received additional information regarding the announcement in the last Newsletter about the launch of the Fribourg Declaration on Cultural Rights, May 7, 2007, at the University of Fribourg, and May 8, 2007, at Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The organizers have informed us that two seminars organized by the Observatory of Diversity and Cultural Rights at the University of Fribourg’s Interdisciplinary Institute for Ethics and Human Rights will be held on this occasion. The first seminar, on the adoption of the Fribourg Declaration, will take place Monday, May 7, 2007, from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the University of Fribourg’s Joseph Deiss Auditorium, Pérolles 2. The second seminar, on the Fribourg Declaration in the framework of the United Nations system, will be held in Geneva in Room XVI of Palais des Nations, Tuesday, May 8, 2007, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, see the agenda for these events (Fribourg, Geneva).