Vol. 8, no 10, Monday, March 31, 2008
Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!
IN THIS ISSUE :
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, 80 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.
The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) reports that Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the French Republic, and Abdou Diouf, secretary general of La Francophonie, celebrated International Day of La Francophonie in the midst of Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris on March 20, 2008.
President Sarkozy spoke of his “personal commitment to La Francophonie and the solidarity that binds France to all other organization members” as well as his “confidence in the future of La Francophonie.” President Sarkozy also declared, “Today I would like to tell you just how much I find it desirable and possible to reconcile respect for our identity—which springs from our language —with modernity, but also how much I prefer a proactive Francophonie to a reactive Francophonie, one that plays a leading role through the diversity it represents.”
The OIF press release notes that Abdou Diouf issued an appeal to young people: “Today more than ever, we are, as Saint-Exupéry put it, ‘swept along by the same world, all crew on the same boat.’ So, students, learn to love a world that does not yet exist to better shape it, learn to talk with other cultures today, learn solidarity. The language you have in common makes it possible; the values defended by La Francophonie urge you to.”
Alain Joyandet, Secretary of State for Cooperation and La Francophonie, and Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research, attended the ceremony, which was followed by a debate with writers who, despite not having French as their mother tongue, have elected to write in the language. The 25 winners of the Dix Mots Contest were announced and received their prizes.
Hyperlinks to the speeches from Sarkozy and Diouf in full (French only) can be found at the foot of the OIF press release.
We would now draw your attention to the message from Québec’s minister of international relations and minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, to mark International Day of La Francophonie on March 20, 2008. “On March 20, La Francophonie—a cultural, political, economic, and educational organization—will be celebrating its shared wealth in French, a language that brings us together and unites us. This celebration will have additional meaning in Québec in 2008, as it will mark four centuries of French presence in the Americas, four centuries of discoveries that have molded the Québec identity, four centuries of sharing that have shaped our nation.”
Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay went on to note that the Government of Québec would be honored to welcome delegations from the 67 other states and governments who share the French language and have chosen Québec City for their upcoming summit. “As the only multilateral organization of which Québec is a full member, La Francophonie is an excellent forum for sharing, a forum in which Québec’s expertise is given its full importance. In this perspective, the Government of Québec wants to revitalize and modernize the 12th Summit of La Francophonie by tackling three issues, namely the environment, governance and democracy, and the French language. I invite you to join with your neighbors and celebrate International Day of La Francophonie with pride!”
The Canadian Cultural Observatory invites you to take a look at the Winter 2007 issue of Canadian Issues, whose theme is “The Impact of Digital Technology on Canadian Culture: Research Themes and Questions.” This issue contains the proceedings of the Association of Canadian Studies Forum on Canadian Culture and Digital Technology, held in Gatineau, Québec, in October 2007.
The Canadian Cultural Observatory writes, “Political and public attention to cultural policy in Canada goes through cycles, varying over time, and has often been motivated by technology change. […] Today, in response to the global revolution in communications and information management, Canadian cultural policy is again being challenged.”
Canadian Issues has divided the articles in this issue into five chapters:
UNESCO recently added the draft summary records of the first ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions to its website. The event was held in Ottawa, Canada, from December 10–13, 2007. You can consult the document, in English and French, here.
The European Commission (DG Communication) and the European Audiovisual Observatory have announced that their new TV database—MAVISE—will official be launched during a workshop for this year’s MIP TV. The launch will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 9 in Auditorium K at Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.
According to the press release, MAVISE already holds key profile and contact data for around 2,500 television channels and companies in Europe. This figure will increase to over 5,000 with time. The brand-new TV database was developed by the Strasbourg-based European Audiovisual Observatory at the request of the DG Communication of the European Commission. “MAVISE will serve as a useful tool for the television industry as parts of the database will be freely accessible to the general public.” The press release notes that television professionals will be able to use MAVISE free of charge to locate channels according to programming types and countries of broadcast in addition to being able to obtain key contact information for each channel. The database will be accessible via the Europa site (http://ec.europa.eu/), the internet portal of the Commission’s Audiovisual Service (http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/home/index_en.cfm), and also on the site of the European Audiovisual Observatory (http://www.obs.coe.int). Médiamétrie, Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing, and Lyngemark figure among MAVISE’s data suppliers.
MAVISE will be launched during a workshop entitled “Towards More Transparency of the European Television Market,” jointly organized by the European Commission and the Observatory.
The official program for the International Seminar on Domestic Cultural Policies: Trends, Issues, and Challenges is finally available (in French only). The event will take place May 7 and 8, 2008, in Québec City, Canada.
The seminar will seek to explore the diversity of policy and cultural relations encountered in societies of a somewhat similar nature as well as the issues and challenges these societies face. More specifically, it will aim to provoke thought and discussion as participants reflect on the differing foundations and future of cultural policies in Western countries. Organizers point out that the seminar is open to all.
We invite you to consult the seminar program and familiarize yourself with the themes that the event will address, as well as information on the venue and registration.