Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 7, no 25, Monday, July 23, 2007

The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions News Bulletin.

Please note that the Diversity of Cultural Expressions News Bulletin is taking a break for the summer holidays. We’ll be back on August 27. See you then!

In the meantime, you can still browse the headings and documents available on our website.

The Secrétariat à la diversité culturelle team thanks you for being one of the many regular visitors to our site.

Enjoy your summer!

IN THIS ISSUE :

Convention Update

Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Recent Publications

Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Other News of Interest



Convention Update

Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are Underway!

UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came into effect on Sunday, March 18, 2007. Implementation of the convention was kicked off with the first Conference of Parties to the Convention, held in Paris, France, from June 18 to 20, 2007.

At press time, 63 states had ratified the treaty. Efforts to implement the treaty are well underway, but 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.

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Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Speech by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura for the opening of the second meeting of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), Paris, France

On July 17, 2007, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura opened the second meeting of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS).

According to a press release issued for the occasion, UNGIS is the interagency mechanism tasked by the UN’s Chief Executive Board to coordinate the substantive policy aspects of UN implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Mr. Matsuura congratulated Mr. Touré for ITU’s leadership of UNGIS during the past year and noted that UNESCO, which will be taking over the chairmanship of UNGIS, would continue to work to firmly establish UNGIS as one of the key implementation mechanisms for WSIS.

The press release also mentioned that in his introductory remarks, the director-general stated that it was crucial for the UN system to achieve a coherent follow-up to the WSIS outcomes, and that UNGIS played an important role in this regard, especially within the context of the current drive for the UN to “deliver as one.”

In closing, the press release stated that Mr. Matsuura encouraged UNGIS to work towards “building knowledge societies where people can express themselves freely, access and use information knowledge, where cultural and linguistic diversity is seen as a richness, and where quality education is accessible to all.”

Click here for the full text of the UNESCO press release.

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Recent Publications

Media coverage of the Conference on Creative Industries in Africa

In our February 12, 2007 edition, we announced an upcoming conference on creative industries in Africa. The conference took place March 5 to 7, 2007, on Île de Gorée in Dakar, Senegal. The event was organized by the International Network for Cultural Diversity, the Danish Center for Culture and Development, UNESCO, Interarts, HIVOS, and Strommestiftelsen.

A story recently published on the Danish Center for Culture and Development website mentioned that journalists from Senegal, Ghana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe covered the conference. Click here to read the articles written about the conference.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

Call for proposals: Fonds d'appui à la presse francophone du Sud

The OIF (International Organization of La Francophonie) has announced that the first call for proposals in 2007 by the Fonds d’appui à la presse francophone du Sud is currently underway.

Since 1998, the OIF has implemented a support program for the development of French-language newspapers in southern hemisphere countries. As part of this program, a fund was created to support French-language newspaper plants in the southern hemisphere. According to the OIF, the fund is intended to support newspaper plants headquartered in OIF member countries in the southern hemisphere wishing to improve their editorial policy, management, and/or technical development. The OIF states that the funds will help finance networking efforts among French-language newspapers, training activities, and any other initiatives that meet specific plant requirements. Among other things, the Fonds d’appui aux entreprises de la presse francophone du Sud seeks to encourage the development of pluralist, high-quality newspapers in southern hemisphere countries.

The fund is founded on a biannual call for proposals. The OIF indicates that projects that are at least 30% funded by the plant are eligible. Proposals must be submitted by newspaper plants located in southern hemisphere countries no later than the deadline for each call (September 30, 2007, for this first call).

Click here for required application information and documentation.

Contact:

Mr. Tidiane Dioh
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
(Direction de la Diversité culturelle)
13, quai André Citroën 75015 Paris

Telephone: (33) 1 44 37 32 74
Fax: (33) 1 44 37 32 42
Email: fondspresse@francophonie.org

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Other News of Interest

Cultural Forum for Europe, Lisbon, Portugal

The EU’s Portuguese presidency is organizing a Cultural Forum for Europe on September 26 and 27, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal. This event, which will bring together representatives from civil society, will address three main themes. The first workshop will deal with intercultural dialog (including the issue of cultural diversity), the second will focus on the cultural economy, and the third will enable participants to share their thoughts on the theme “ Europe and the Rest of the world.”

The Forum website states that the event will be followed by an informal meeting of ministers of culture.

Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in three languages (Portuguese, English, and French).

The Forum will be held at the Centro Cultural de Belém – CCB.
Praça do Império
1449 – 003 Lisbon

Click here for more information on this event (in Portuguese and English).

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Regional call for candidates for Francophone summer arts university at Dakar University in Senegal

From October 12 to 20, 2007, the City of Dakar, Senegal, will host the first “summer university of the arts” on the theme of “Transmitting knowledge and cultural diversity: artistic training at the university.” Fifty francophone university students selected according to their portfolios will attend.

The event is a joint effort by AUF (Agence universitaire de la Francophonie) and Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD, Senegal) in association with France’s Centres nationaux de formation professionnelle de la culture and Cité du Design in Saint-Étienne.

According to an AUF press release, the event “is a precursor to the Institut supérieur des métiers de la creation, which will be set up at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. The institute will provide advanced training to artists and professionals from Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, and the diaspora.”

AUF states that “the summer university is aimed at providing new space for meeting and discussion between professional artists and students, teachers, and researchers from post-secondary, francophone educational institutions in Africa. We also wish to expose students to arts and crafts and problems with creation, circulation, and literary and artistic criticism while helping them understand new forms of artistic expression.”

The application deadline is July 31, 2007.

Click here to find out about eligibility, consult the reference material, or obtain an application form.

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Market for African Performing Arts (MASA)

The special “Peace in Côte d’Ivoire, MASA 2007 for 5 Cities” edition will be held July 28 to August 12, 2007.

Market for African Performing Arts (MASA) is an international program for the development of African performing arts. Its main objective is to promote African artists and their work and incorporate them into international distribution channels in order to contribute to the economic and sociocultural development of Africa.

MASA’s objectives are to make the best African theatrical, dance, and musical productions and artists better known to professionals in the North and South and to foster the circulation of these productions within Africa and throughout the world; to support, help, and develop the creation and circulation of African theatrical, choreographic, and musical production; to support and develop the establishment of networks of African professionals and distributors; to provide suitable opportunities for African composers, lyricists, playwrights, producers, distributors, and technicians involved in African performing arts to improve their professional skills; and to contribute to the promotion of the status and rights of artists.

In a press release, the event organizers stated that—in addition to entertainment and marketing aspects—this special program “is also designed as the contribution of MASA to the restoration of peace and the consolidation of democracy in Côte d’Ivoire at the cultural level.”

According to the press release, the event has two components. The first is an international scientific component for defining, thinking over, and training on the theme “Democracy and Democratic Culture: Crisis Settlement and Peace in Africa,” followed by a round table held July 19 to 26, 2007.

MASA also features an artistic component in the form of a special edition entitled “Peace in Côte d’Ivoire, MASA 2007 for 5 Cities.” In this regard, musical, theatrical, and dance shows performed by artists from Côte d’Ivoire and other African countries will be organized in Abidjan from July 27 to August 5, 2007, on four stages simultaneously. These shows will then be performed concurrently in Bouaké, Korhogo, Man, and Daloa from August 9 to 12, 2007.

For more information, please visit the MASA website.

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