Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 8, no 6, Monday, February 25, 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

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 first meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from December 10 to 13, 2007. Other meetings will be held before the next Conference of Parties, slated for June 2009 in Paris, France.

At press time, 78 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

France’s culture and communications minister meets with the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity

On February 21, 2008, France’s culture and communications minister, Christine Albanel, met with the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity to discuss her role in implementing the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The press release issued on the occasion noted, “The Culture Ministry’s involvement in promoting and implementing the Convention was at the heart of the meeting between Christine Albanel and the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity.”

It continued, “The meeting was an opportunity to reaffirm France’s financial commitment to the Fund for Cultural Diversity provided for by the Convention. Christine Albanel also drew attention to hosting and training initiatives for artists and culture professionals from other countries, support for French cultural industries, and the promotion of European cooperation and foreign cultures in France.”

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The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopts a declaration on the allocation and management of the digital dividend and the public interest

On February 20, 2008, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted a declaration on the allocation and management of the digital dividend and the public interest. In a press release issued on the occasion, the Council stated, “In view of the opening up of the radio spectrum as a result of the switchover from analog to digital broadcasting, the Committee of Ministers aims to promote pluralism, cultural and linguistic diversity, and public access in preference to a purely market based approach.”

The release continued, “Without prejudging measures which will be taken by the Member States (with regard to broadcasters, broadband applications, mobile multimedia, and interactivity), the Committee of Ministers calls on Member States to acknowledge the public nature of the ‘digital dividend’ and to manage it as a public resource, efficiently and in the public interest.”

We invite you to read the full declaration here.

Press contact:

Henriette Girard, Press Officer
Telephone: +33 3 88 41 21 41
Mobile : +33 6 75 65 03 39
henriette.girard@coe.int

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2008 edition of French Language Week to be launched (March 14–24)

The 2008 edition of French Language Week will be held from March 14 to 24. French culture and communications minister Christine Albanel announced in a press release that she would launch the event with a press conference at 11:30 a.m. on March 10. The press conference will be held at the French culture and communications ministry and attended by public figures who have thrown their support behind the event. Ms. Albanel will also use the occasion to launch the www.franceterme.culture.fr website.

“Encounters” is the theme for this edition. “By giving the public the opportunity to encounter words, the event invites our fellow citizens to celebrate the strongest of the ties that bind them to their community: their common language.” “It will give francophones everywhere an opportunity to bring this common denominator, the French language, to life,” continued the release.

Ten words have been chosen to illustrate this edition’s theme. Each word will be sponsored by a public figure “according to the feelings it inspires in relation to their creative process, craft, and imagination.” These testimonials will be broadcast on public and private television channels in France and abroad during French Language Week.

The press release also notes that French Language Week, which encompasses International Day of La Francophonie on March 20, will be marked by a number of events in France and elsewhere in the world. A traveling exhibit will present the ten words in several French cities, educational activities will be organized in schools, museums, and other public venues, and numerous local initiatives will celebrate in their own manner this encounter with words.

“This awareness campaign is not only an invitation to celebrate the vitality of the French language, but also an opportunity to show how French, in its multiple expressions, creates common ground for all French-speakers.”

“That’s why the ten words will be common to France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Québec, which in 2008 is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Québec City by Samuel de Champlain,” the press release continued.

To learn more about the event, its organizers, the ten words chosen, and the public figures associated with each of them, consult the February 18, 2008 press release issued by France’s culture and communications ministry.

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Recent Publications

“Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions—Culture in Sustainable Development: Insights for the Future Implementation of Art. 13” by David Throsby

UNESCO has announced the publication of a paper entitled “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions—Culture in Sustainable Development: Insights for the Future Implementation of Art. 13.” The paper was prepared at the request of the UNESCO Secretariat by David Throsby, Professor of Economics at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

You can download the document in English and French from the Documents and Publications section of the UNESCO website.

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“Libre opinion – Diversité culturelle: l’engouement” by George Anastassopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to UNESCO and President of the UNESCO General Conference

George Anastassopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to UNESCO and President of the UNESCO General Conference, wrote an article entitled “Libre opinion – Diversité culturelle: l’engouement,” which appeared in the January 29, 2008 edition of Québec daily Le Devoir. You can read this very interesting opinion piece (in French) on the Le Devoir website.

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Other News of Interest

2008 Rencontre internationale de la Francophonie économique

International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) has announced that the 2008 Rencontre internationale de la Francophonie économique will be held in Québec City, Canada, from May 16 to 19, 2008. Organized by the Québec City and Paris chambers of commerce in partnership with OIF, the event will be themed “The Francophonie as an Economic Space: Myth or Reality?”

To find out more, contact OIF at com@francophonie.org.

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No Ghetto, an e-magazine for young people, is launched

UNESCO has announced the launch of No Ghetto, an interactive online magazine dealing with cultural diversity and dialog for young people from different cultural backgrounds. No Ghetto explores questions related to UNESCO’s key themes of dialog, diversity, and development (cultural and artistic expression, HIV and AIDS, migration and minorities, history, poverty, interreligious dialog, and more.).

The magazine primarily targets young people in Africa and the Arab world, as well as those from industrialized countries, “especially any individual suffering from exclusion and discrimination (indigenous peoples, ethnic/cultural minorities, immigrants, etc.).”

According to the UNESCO press release, the No Ghetto website seeks to involve young people by gathering their thoughts on daily life, their dreams, and any problems they may face regarding cultural diversity. In the future, this website could serve as a platform for youth forums aimed at developing policies designed for and by young people.

No Ghetto is an initiative of the Culture Sector, created in close cooperation with Respect Magazine, which seeks to adopt a contemporary style and open tone that young people can relate to.

The press release notes that the website—which was initially launched in French—will gradually be translated into English. Arabic, Chinese, and Russian versions are also under consideration.

Read No Ghetto magazine online (in French)

Contact: Ms. Saori Terada

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