Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 8, No. 35, Monday, October 27, 2008

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

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!

At the first Conference of Parties to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Intergovernmental Committee was tasked with developing operational directives for Convention implementation. The Committee held a regular meeting in Ottawa, Canada from December 10 to 13, 2007, and an extraordinary session in Paris, France from June 24 to 27, 2008. Other meetings will be held before the next Conference of Parties, slated for June 2009 in Paris.

At press time, 91 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

XIIe Sommet de la Francophonie 2008 closes

The XIIe Sommet de la Francophonie came to a close on October 19, 2008, in Québec City, Canada. During the event, heads of French-speaking states and governments adopted the Declaration of Québec City as well as four resolutions, including one on the French language.

We believe the Declaration of Québec City and the Resolution on the French Language both address the concept of the diversity of cultural expressions. First, in the section of the declaration regarding the French language, the heads of French-speaking states and governments declare, “We are committed to taking appropriate measures to encourage the broadcast and accessibility of TV5 Monde, in addition to our public and private networks. Likewise, we reiterate our commitment to this multilateral francophone network and to its essential role in broadcasting and teaching French internationally and as an example of cultural diversity.”

Second, at the start of the Resolution on the French Language, the heads of French-speaking states and governments state they are “attached to the principles at the heart of La Francophonie and faithful to the commitment to protect and promote cultural expressions, a fundamental part of which is linguistic diversity.” They also express their desire to “give La Francophonie innovative tools for encouraging and promoting the use of the French language.” Based on these two preambles, the heads of French-speaking states and governments described the commitments contained in the Resolution on the French Language adopted at the Québec City Summit.

To fully grasp the scope of the Declaration of Québec City and the Resolution on the French Language, please see the full text of both of these very important documents on the XIIe Sommet de la Francophonie website.

The heads of French-speaking states and governments have decided that the XIIIe Sommet de la Francophonie will be held in Madagascar in 2010.

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Contribute to helping define the new strategy of the Global Alliance!

Reminding everyone that the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came into effect in March 2007, the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity announces that “the strategy and mission of the Global Alliance should be redefined to enhance synergies with the objectives of this normative instrument.”

The Global Alliance further states that it “should focus on promoting exemplary partnerships that encourage the emergence of creative industries and a dynamic cultural sector in developing countries.”

As part of this process, everyone is asked to participate in identifying future functions of the Global Alliance by filling in a questionnaire which is available online here until November 5, 2008.

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France presents public audiovisual reform bill

On October 22, 2008, at the Council of Ministers, French Minister of Culture and Communication Christine Albanel presented a bill on audiovisual communication and a new audiovisual public service.

According to a press release, during her speech before the Council of Ministers, Albanel reiterated the public service missions of France Télévisions as described in the bill regarding audiovisual communication and the new public audiovisual service: “to unite, inform, instruct, and promote the fundamental values of our national community.” The obligations contained in the bill mainly address “culture, information, and French and European citizenship.” The press release adds that the bill also describes the mission of the new group tasked with external audiovisual “which must promote French and francophone culture abroad and broadcast the French perspective on current event around the world.”

Below is a summary of the bill’s major points. For more details, please consult the press release and press kit prepared by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The bill on public audiovisual reform basically revolves around the following major themes:

  • The end of advertising on France Télévisions airwaves according to specific terms and a schedule starting January 5, 2009. Lost advertising revenue will be compensated for by the state.
  • A reorganizing of public audiovisual companies through which “France Télévisions will become one single company with different networks.” The bill includes the implementation of a process of appointment by order-in-council for presidents of France Télévisions, Radio France, and the company tasked with external audiovisual.
  • The transposition of the European “Services de médias audiovisuals” directive. The bill “defines new, modern modes of audiovisual program consumption that go beyond traditional television—modes known as on-demand audiovisual media service (AVMS).” The press release states that the legal framework applied to these services will set objectives for promoting works and contributing to production and creation.
  • A possible second cut to advertising in films and television fiction.
  • The possibility for government to reform by ordinance the governance of Centre national de la cinématographie (CNC) and film law.

The French Ministry of Culture and Communications press release concludes as follows: “Minister Albanel ended her speech by underscoring the need to adapt our legislation and regulatory framework to an audiovisual landscape that has changed radically in recent years with the arrival of the Internet and TNT (Télévision Numérique Terrestre). Audiovisual production and financing must be reconsidered—

  • In terms of the relationship between different stakeholders in the audiovisual sector, who currently operate according to an obsolete legal framework which dates back to 2001.
  • To promote advertising investment in television by making the 1992 decree more flexible. Networks could offer more airtime to advertisers. As the major funders of creation in France, the entire sector will benefit.”

For more information on this bill, please consult the French Ministry of Culture and Communication press release and press kit.

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Recent Publications

Provisional Agenda for the Second Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The provisional agenda of the second ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, to be held December 8 to 12, 2008, is now available on the UNESCO website.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

33 recommendations for increasing French participation in international artistic dialogue

According to a joint press release by France’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Communications, and Culturesfrance dated October 17, 2008, “starting with the observation that the plastic arts in France are vibrant and of high quality, yet lack visibility both at home and abroad,” French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner and Minister of Culture and Communications Christine Albanel “wished to implement a joint action plan aimed at increasing the participation of French artists in international dialogue.”

The press release reports that to reach its objectives, Culturesfrance held a series of workshops to create a plan of action.

These workshops led by Henri Jobbé-Duval (the director of Art Paris) brought together public sector experts (art school and institution directors, residence program directors, commissioners), and private sector experts (gallery directors, collectors, international trade fair directors, artists) as well as representatives from government and Culturesfrance.

The press release reports that the workshops gave rise to 33 recommendations in three main categories:

  • “Show. Provide better exposure for French artists (increase the visibility of French art in France and abroad by planning international exposure from the very beginning of the project. Create a permanent exhibition place for established artists, develop a major historical exhibition on contemporary French art coproduced with foreign countries as well as an online database to support institutions operating abroad.
  • “Exchange. Be better prepared for and carry out better exchanges (develop international exchanges with respect to art schools, residences, research, and teams of exhibition commissioners. Make it easier for foreign artists and professionals to enter and spend time in France.
  • “Export. Improve support for French artists abroad (increase the number of joint broadcasting operations between two countries. Improve procedures for promoting and loaning works. Identify a reliable indicator of the presence of French artists abroad.”

According to the press release, these recommendations have just been submitted to the two concerned ministers, “who have received them with great interest and have asked their respective departments to work jointly on them.”

The report is available by request and on the ministry and Culturesfrance websites.
www.culture.gouv.fr
www.diplomatie.gouv.fr
www.culturesfrance.com

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Other News of Interest

Creative Clusters Conference 2008 program

The 2008 edition of the Creative Clusters Conference will be held November 17 to 20 in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference program is available online at the event website.

Creative Clusters is an annual conference that examines the growth of creative industries and their role in economic development and in culture. The event enables people engaged in the development of the creative industries to

  • Identify and articulate policy issues
  • Learn from each other
  • Showcase their work
  • Connect to development resources

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