Vol. 12, no 7, Monday, July 9, 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, 124 Parties (123 states and the European Community as a regional economic integration organization) had ratified the treaty. The Central African Republic and the United Arab Emirates submitted their ratifications before UNESCO on May 11 and June 6, 2012, respectively, and are now Parties to the Convention.
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.
In a press release dated June 27, 2012, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity states that it has reviewed the European Parliament resolution on European Union trade negotiations with Japan, which was adopted at a plenary session on June 13, 2012. The European Parliament asks the Council “not to authorize the opening of trade negotiations until Parliament has stated its position on the proposed negotiating mandate, on the basis of a report by the committee responsible.”
The French Coalition believes that this decision is a reminder that the crucial issues underlying trade negotiations must not give way to haste. The Coalition therefore asks European deputies to use this additional period of time to take a close look at the sectors included in these negotiations and urges the Council to explicitly exclude culture and the audiovisual sector from negotiations over the agreement between the EU and Japan.
According to the French Coalition, “as we have already seen with the cultural cooperation protocol annexed to the EU-Korea free trade agreement and with the agreement with Canada (currently underway), it is essential to exclude culture and the audiovisual sector from trade discussions to avoid any risk of liberalization or any challenge to the principles of cultural diversity.”
With the European Union negotiating a growing number of bilateral trade agreements, the French Coalition is calling on European deputies to show greater vigilance in defining the mandate of the European Commission in its negotiations with Japan and in all future negotiations, particularly with the United States.
Lastly, the French Coalition expresses its disappointment that the European Commission has not yet honored its commitment made before the European Parliament in April and September 2011 to create a European cultural strategy to defend and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.
To consult the press release in question, please visit the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
To read the European Parliament resolution on EU trade negotiations with Japan, please consult the European Parliament website.
Chile’s association of independent, university, and autonomous publishers (Asociación de Editores Independientes, Universitarios y Autónomos), a member of the Chilean Coalition for Cultural Diversity, has written to the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs to express its concerns over intellectual property issues and compliance with the requirements of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions during negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP).
On behalf of the Chilean Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the association states that “[…] it seems fundamental to us to include in the TPP a broad cultural exemption to guarantee that the national treatment, most-favored nation, and market access principles will not apply to cultural industries and the creative arts, no matter their means of expressions.”
In matters of intellectual property, the association feels that “[…] it seems to us of uttermost importance not to extend the term of copyright protection for works—in whatever form they may be—that benefit from the intellectual property regime.” The association then goes on to say that “it is fundamental to return to the original equilibrium that led to the first national legislations on copyright and intellectual property to be drafted, not only to protect the public’s right to access creative works, knowledge, and information, but also to prevent legislative obstacles from blocking the way for future generations to continue to create.”
Finally, the Chilean Coalition expresses its hope that “[…] in these free trade negotiations, like in any other that [Chile] want to undertake, culture will not be subject to the commercial interests of large economic entities nor of any nation.”
To read the letter in question, please consult the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity website.
A book entitled For a smart market: cultural diversity, the market, and regulation (Por un mercado inteligente : diversidad cultural, mercado y regulacion) has just been published by Erasmus Editions (Erasmus Ediciones). The main concepts of cultural diversity, the market, and regulation are covered in three chapters.
The author, Martí Petit, is a Catalan researcher recognized as a specialist on the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Mr. Petit closes his work with this warning: “The mistake we all risk making is thinking that the simple fact of adopting the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity will fix the major imbalances in the worldwide flow of culture. Without constant and sustained pressure by the public to ensure that public proceedings promote cultural diversity, things will not move forward of their own accord.”
This publication is available only in Spanish and can be ordered through the Librería Central website.
The July 2 issue of the Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle newsletter explores the following topics:
Accords bilatéraux et diversité culturelle is published in French by Centre d'études sur l'intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM) for the International Organization of La Francophonie.
The Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity just launched three new publications:
To download these publications, please visit the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
The Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity also acts as the secretariat for the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity.
The June 2012 edition of the Coalition Currents newsletter is now available.
This edition features the following articles:
Coalition Currents is published by the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity in partnership with the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity. It is available in French, English, and Spanish.
UNESCO has launched a call for applications for African experts to become members of an expert group on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
This initiative is part of UNESCO’s capacity building framework program for Africa. Launched in 2012, this program is part of a long-term strategic investment to provide countries with the tools, capacities, and expertise they need to implement the Convention and to develop effective policies for their cultural and creative sectors.
A maximum of 30 candidates will be selected (15 French speaking, 15 English speaking). Women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Selected experts will receive a five-day intensive training on the 2005 Convention and its implementation at the national level in Africa.
The deadline for submitting application is July 20, 2012, at midnight (Paris time).
For more details and to download the application form, please visit the UNESCO website.
An international seminar entitled “CONNEXXIONS: Cultural life, diversity of cultural expressions, human development – perspectives and actions” will be held September 6 to 8, 2012, at the Hammamet International Cultural Center in Tunisia.
Organized by the German Commission for UNESCO, this seminar aims to strengthen the involvement of civil society in the field of culture through implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
More specifically, the objectives of the CONNEXXIONS seminar are as follows:
Those interested in taking part are invited to submit their applications no later than July 15, 2012.
The German Commission will select up to sixty participants from Tunisia and twenty participants from other Maghreb and Mashrek countries. It will also invite twenty international experts from UNESCO, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and regional and international networks to ensure international dialogue.
For more information on this event and consult the call for applications, please visit the German Commission for UNESCO website.
In our March 7, 2011 newsletter we mentioned the cultural policy framework entitled Adapting the Wheel: Cultural Policies for Africa developed by the Arterial Network Cultural Policy Task Group (CPTG).
Following this publication, Arterial Network would like to establish a Cultural Policy Task Group on a more sustainable basis to train and nurture new culture policy practitioners, engage with cultural policy matters in a rigorous manner and on an ongoing basis, assist governments in developing and implementing cultural policies, and undertake research into appropriate cultural policies for the African continent.
All interested Arterial Network members are invited to apply to be appointed to the Cultural Policy Task Group (in which Steering Committee and Secretariat members will also participate).
The deadline for submitting applications is July 20, 2012.
For more information, visit the Arterial Network website.
M4m (M for mobility) is an artistic mobility program supported by the European Commission and initiated by 7 cosignatories and 12 associated partners in order to facilitate encounters, exchange, and common work between emerging artists and professionals from the creative and cultural world taking part in the different steps of an art production.
It targets young European artists who are willing to explore new forms of expression by collaborating with professionals from the host organization and other artists from different backgrounds. By blending their experiences, they invite the participation of a diversified audience in their artistic projects.
The M4m program offers two residencies in Milan, the capital of design and fashion, from October to December 2012:
The deadline for the open calls is July 20, 2012.
For more details, please visit the emobility website.
The 11th Festival of Pacific Arts will be held in the Solomon Islands from July 1 to 14, 2012.
The festival has been held every four years since 1972, bringing together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region for two weeks of festivities. It is recognized as a major regional cultural event and is the largest gathering in which Pacific peoples unite to enhance their respect for and appreciation of one another within the context of the changing Pacific.
This year, the Festival theme is “Culture in harmony with nature.” It will host some 2,500 performers, artists, and cultural practitioners from 27 countries and territories in the Pacific region, plus thousands of visitors who are keen to see and be part of the festival.
The 27 Pacific Island Countries and Territories expected at the festival are: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Guam (2016 host), Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands (2012 host), Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.