Vol. 7, no 19, Monday, June 11, 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, 62 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 become a party to the treaty.
The fifth summit of Heads of State of Southeast Europe was held June 7 and 8, 2007, in Bucharest and Sibiu, Romania, under the theme “Cultural Diversity—a Bridge between Cultural Heritage and the Culture of the Future.” At the opening of the summit, UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura declared that the earlier summits in Ohrid (2003), Tirana (2004), Varna (2005), and Opatija (2006) had “contributed to reinforcing regional cooperation as well as the political will and resources needed to ensure each country’s development and prosperity,” adding, “What is of great satisfaction for UNESCO is that each summit has chosen culture as the foundation for such an endeavor.”
Later, he stated that “cultural industries are an important means for sharing and nurturing such cultural diversity. In this respect, the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is another major tool which should enable broader access to and exchange of cultural expressions.”
According to Mr. Matsuura, the summit charted a new path for regional cooperation by linking cultural heritage with a vision of the culture of the future. He also welcomed the “stimulating and constructive statements by the heads of state of the region, which conveyed a positive commitment at the highest level of leadership to cooperation and the promotion of mutual understanding, drawing on the multi-faceted potential of cultural heritage.”
On May 31, 2007, UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura joined celebrations in honor of Portuguese Language Day held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. In his speech for the occasion, Mr. Matsuura declared, “As vehicles of value systems and cultural expression, they [languages] are an essential part of humanity’s living heritage and must be preserved as precious commodities.”
In a press release issued for the occasion, Mr. Matsuura also declared, “Through their adherence to UNESCO prescriptive instruments like the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the 2003 Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace, and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, CPLP (Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries) Member States have demonstrated the willingness of lusophone countries to collectively commit to the ideals of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. I am certain that after this day, your group will continue to encourage the public, governments, and parliaments to adhere to UNESCO prescriptive instruments.”
The European Audiovisual Observatory has announced the release of an IRIS special report entitled “Audiovisual Media Services without Frontiers: Implementing the Rules.” This IRIS report is the result of a high level workshop on “Implementing the Regulation of Transfrontier Audiovisual Media Services” held in Strasbourg, France, in April, 2006. The workshop was organized jointly by the European Audiovisual Observatory, the Institute of European Media Law (EMR), and the Institute for Information Law (IViR). It was also supported by the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA).
This report starts by offering an extremely timely review of the history of the parallel regulation of television broadcasting provided by the two main legal instruments in this field: the European Union’s TVwF Directive (Television Without Frontiers) and the Council of Europe’s ECTT (European Convention on Transfrontier Television). The second part of this report looks at implementing the existing regulations applicable to transfrontier broadcasting. This new publication then goes on to analyze advertising rules and the difficulties in monitoring broadcasters’ adherence to these rules. The fourth part of this report deals with the task of protecting human rights and cultural values in the context of regulating cross border broadcasting. The last chapter provides an overview of discussions held during the abovementioned workshop in Strasbourg.
This study is available in French, English, and German. If you would like to order a copy, visit the European Audiovisual Observatory website by clicking here.
In 2006, the European Commission (Directorate General Education and Culture) commissioned a qualitative Eurobarometer study to learn more about the perceptions Europeans have of culture and its contribution to developing a sense of community and belonging to a shared European region. The survey was carried out in the current 27 EU Member States.
The study’s specific aims were to analyze the European perception of culture in the broader sense of the term and not merely with regard to traditional cultures and fine arts. It also examined the importance of culture in the lives of Europeans, the components specific to European culture, the link between culture and shared European values, interest in European cultural diversity and the cultures of other Europeans, and the perceived and the expected role of Europe in the field of culture.
This report by Bruno Hérault from Centre d’analyse stratégique continues the analysis presented by Yudhishthir Raj Isar, Jean Monnet professor at the American University of Paris; Hélène Ruiz Fabri, professor of public law at Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne; Alain Le Diberder, General Manager of Buzz2Buzz; and Philippe Bouquillion, professor of information and communication sciences at Université Paris VIII during the 6th Rendez-vous de la mondialisation on March 20, 2007.
This sixth edition of Rendez-vous de la mondialisation was organized by Centre d’analyse stratégique (an organization under the direction of the French prime minister) and CEPII (Centre d’études prospectives et d’informations internationales). In March 2006, Centre d’analyse stratégique decided to join forces with CEPII to create Groupe d’analyses de la mondialisation. The group’s mission was to hold special meetings on all aspects of globalization in order to spur public debate and shed light on political decision-making. Click here for the latest Mondialisation et diversité culturelle report. (Available in French only)
The 14th call for proposals by the Fonds francophone des inforoutes has been announced. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 30, 2007. The Fonds des inforoutes seeks to encourage multilateral content production and digital applications in French. Therefore, proposals must fall into one of the following categories: promotion of the French language and of cultural and linguistic diversity; promotion of peace, democracy, and human rights; support for education, training, advanced studies, and research; or promotion of cooperation with a view to sustainable development and solidarity.
The Fonds des inforoutes website states that “in compliance with the Bucharest Declaration, the Fonds des inforoutes will give preference to proposals tied to the introduction of information and communication technologies in the field of education. Proposals by or for the benefit of women and/or youth are encouraged and will receive special attention.”
The mission of the Fonds francophone des inforoutes is to encourage the increased use and mastery of information and communication technology (TIC) in developing countries and in central and southeastern Europe while supporting multilateral French language content and digital application production initiatives. These initiatives are selected following a call for proposals according to priorities defined by la Francophonie organizations at events like the Sommet de la Francophonie and the Conférence ministérielle.
For more information on the Fonds francophone des inforoutes and on how to register or to download applicant and application guides for 2007, click here.
An international seminar entitled « Seminário Internacional sobre Diversidade Cultural : práticas e perspectivas » (“International Seminar on Cultural Diversity: Practices and Perspectives”) will be held in Brasilia, Brazil, June 27 to 29, 2007. This international event will address practices and perspectives tied to cultural diversity in the Americas. For more information on the seminar, including how to register, click here.
Ministério da Cultura
Secretaria de Políticas Culturais
Telephone: +55 61 3316-2288
Fax: +55 61 3223-3616