Vol. 12, no 4, Monday, April 2, 2012
Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!
IN THIS ISSUE :
The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came into force on March 18, 2007. At the first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention in June 2007, the Intergovernmental Committee was given a mandate to develop the necessary operational guidelines for implementing the Convention. Since then, five ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of seven.
The third session of the Conference of Parties, which took place in Paris on June 14 and 15, 2011, saw the approbation of operational guidelines concerning three articles of the Convention and measures to ensure the visibility and promotion of the Convention . In total, twelve articles of the Convention now incorporate operational guidelines.
At press time, 122 Parties (121 states and the European Community as a regional economic integration organization) 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.
On March 12, 2012, the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade tabled a report on the negotiations toward a comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU), reports a press release issued the same day by the Parliament of Canada.
Further to committee hearings held in October and November 2011 in Ottawa, the report summarizes the views of Canadian stakeholders with regard to the principal issues in the Canada-EU CETA negotiations. It also reports on meetings held in December 2011 between committee members and European parliamentarians, representatives of national governments, and stakeholders that are involved or have an interest in the negotiations.
With respect to culture, the report notably mentions that
“[…] representatives from another EU member state expressed their hope that cultural services would be dealt with carefully during Canada-EU CETA negotiations and said that they understand Canada's position and the wish to include a cultural exclusion clause similar to the clause in the free trade agreements that Canada has signed with other trading partners.
Quebec’s Delegate General in Brussels and the French parliamentarians who Committee members met in Brussels and in Paris pointed out the importance of cultural diversity and of protecting it in the CETA negotiations between Canada and the EU. According to them, this protection should apply to cultural products and to cultural services.”
In its report, the Standing Committee on International Trade also proposes 17 recommendations, including the following:
“9. The Government should ensure a broad cultural exemption in CETA that would exclude books, magazines, newspapers, publishing, broadcasting, film, video, performing arts, and other aspects of cultural industries.”
To view the press release and report, available in French and English, please consult the Parliament of Canada website.
On March 14, 2012, UNESCO launched its third call for funding requests to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) for programs/projects and preparatory assistance requests that aim to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector at the national and/or local level, primarily through activities facilitating the introduction of new cultural policies and cultural industries, or strengthening existing ones.
Government authorities and NGOs from developing countries that are Parties to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, as well as international NGOs (INGOs), are eligible to apply.
Currently, the IFCD is providing close to USD 3 million in funding for 48 projects in 35 developing countries. The projects cover a wide range of areas, from the development and implementation of cultural policies, to capacity-building of cultural entrepreneurs, mapping of cultural industries and the creation of new cultural industry business models.
The IFCD is a multi-donor fund established under Article 18 of the 2005 Convention. Its purpose is to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing and least-developed countries that are Parties to the Convention.
The deadline for the Secretariat of the 2005 Convention to receive funding applications from national commissions or INGOs is June 30, 2012, at midnight (Paris time).
For more information on the IFCD application process, please refer to the UNESCO website.
On August 26, 2011, 159 experts from Switzerland and elsewhere gathered in Zurich on the occasion of a forum on cultural diversity and sustainable development organized by the Swiss Coalition for Cultural Diversity. NGOs and public institutions in the field of development cooperation joined with cultural institutions and organizations, artists, and cultural organizers and mediators for a series of workshops and presentations tracing Swiss cultural cooperation initiatives in the developing countries. The forum showed that despite the extensive work in Switzerland and in partner countries in the South and East, many initiatives still remain largely unknown. This gathering served as a first public forum to encourage the sharing of information and experiences and to discuss urgent topics and strategies for the future.
The final report containing presentations made at the forum is available in French and German on the Swiss Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) Data Center has been updated to include the results of the 2009 biennial survey on the global cinema industry, including key indicators designed to help measure diversity in film production.
More precisely, the following indicators and data are now available:
Additional resources are also available: a fact sheet on the linguistic diversity of feature films, an analysis of the 2010 UIS Survey on Feature Film Statistics and the latest cinema indicators in the data center.
The French Ministry of Culture and Communication has just published a new report entitled Culture & Médias 2020 : un ministère nouvelle génér@tion.
The report is a strategic summary of the March 2011 publication Culture & Médias 2030, prospective de politiques culturelles, which used scenarios to explore and identify the main challenges facing cultural policies in the early 21st century. This strategic reflection attempts to provide answers to these challenges and provide guidance in this era of multiple technical, social, and economic changes.
Culture & Médias 2020: un ministère nouvelle génér@tion is the product of an exercise in strategic thinking by the various ministerial departments. It highlights the need for a comprehensive strategy in the digital era in order to keep pace with the effects of non-renewal of cultural practices across the generations and to take action respecting their transmission. It calls for new forms of governance that are more horizontal with local authorities and public institutions and more active in their relations with the European Union in order to conduct policy that is better attuned to the evolution of social, economic, cultural, and cognitive issues in culture and communication.
To view the publication, please visit the French Ministry of Culture and Communication website.
UNESCO has made available, on the website of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the draft summary record of the 5th Intergovernmental Committee held from December 5 to 7, 2011, in Paris.
Moreover, also on the Convention website, the organization has made a number of tools available to the Parties to help them prepare their periodic reports:
At the moment, 94 Parties are preparing to submit their first periodic report on the policies and measures they have taken to promote and protect the diversity of cultural expressions, as provided for in Article 9 of the Convention.
The European Commission announced on March 1, 2012, that the cultural cooperation project CreArt has been selected to receive EU funds for the next 5 years within the framework of the Culture Program (2007–2013). The CreArt project will be initially developed for 5 years and has a total budget of €3,437,300.
CreArt is a European cultural cooperation project for the promotion of artistic creativity that has been developed over the past two years in coordination with the Municipal Foundation for Culture of the Valladolid City Council. CreArt consists of a network of 14 cities and urban spaces representative of Europe’s cultural diversity and richness and the collaboration of three private entities with broad experience in cultural management. The partners are Aveiro (Portugal), Kaunas (Lithuania), Kristiansund (Norway), Linz (Austria), id11-Stichting (The Netherlands), Wroclaw (Poland), Lecce (Italia), Harghita (Romania), Pardubice (Czech Republic), Arad (Romania), Sienna (Italia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Futurecity (United Kingdom), and Valladolid (Spain).
Placing art and creativity at the center of its activities, CreArt seeks to foster
For more information regarding this project, please visit the CreArtwebsite.
In accordance with Article 11 of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which encourages an active role for civil society, Malian cultural stakeholders decided to create the Malian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, an initiative of the Acte Sept cultural association.
At the conclusion of a workshop held March 5 and 6, 2012, at the Djoliba Center in Bamako (Mali), a 23 member bureau was set up, led by Adama Traoré of Acte Sept.
During the workshop, cultural representatives in attendance also learned more about the Convention through three presentations on the following themes: the Convention itself, participation by civil society actors and their role in achieving Convention objectives, and the International Fund for Cultural Diversity.
The Acte Sept cultural association was founded in 1994 to promote Malian culture and foster the development of its members through artistic and cultural activities. Acte Sept activities include Festival du Théâtre des Réalités, national and international theater tours, cultural management training, and publishing.
The European Cultural Foundation (ECF), the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and the European Network on Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC) have just launched the call for applications for the 2012 Cultural Policy Research Award (CPRA).
Through the award, ECF, the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and ENCATC aim to encourage and enable cultural policy researchers to undertake comparative and cross-cultural applied research. The award is devoted to research projects which shed light on contemporary European cultural issues and challenges and is valued at €10,000. It is open to cultural policy researchers up to 35 years of age from all across Europe. Nominees are selected by an international jury of eminent European cultural policy researchers.
Applications for the 2012 award must be submitted by May 7, 2012.
For complete application details, please consult the ENCATC website.
The 15th Festival Cultural de Mayo (FCM) will be held from May 11 to 27, primarily in Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, and in 12 neighboring cities and towns.
Founded in 1997, FCM is one of Mexico’s leading cultural events. Every year, the festival gives artists from different cultural backgrounds an opportunity to showcase their work in music, the performing arts, the circus arts, film, dance, and the visual arts to 250,000 festival-goers.
Every year since 2003, FCM has featured a guest region or country especially well known for the creativity of its artists. This year, that honor falls to Québec. Some 20 companies and artists from the province have been invited to the festival, including BJM Les ballets Jazz de Montréal, which will perform in the festival opener. Special guests in past years have included the United States, Japan, Germany, and Spain.
For program information and details about the event, please visit the Festival cultural de Mayo website.