Vol. 13, No. 11, Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Efforts to implement the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are underway!
Dear Subscribers and Readers,
With the Holiday Season fast upon us, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the Holidays and a happy and prosperous New Year. May love, peace, health, and diversity in all its forms be with you each and every day in 2014.
This is the last issue of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions for 2013. We are already eagerly looking forward to our first issue of 2014 in January.
Thank you for your interest and loyal readership!
The Team at Secrétariat à la diversité culturelle
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, six ordinary and two extraordinary sessions have been held, for a total of eight.
The fourth session of the Conference of Parties, which took place in Paris, June 11 to 13, 2013, saw the approval of operational guidelines governing the use of the emblem of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as well as the revised guidelines on using the resources of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. In total, twelve articles of the Convention now incorporate operational guidelines.
At press time, 133 Parties (132 states and the European Union 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.
The 2013 special edition of the Creative Economy Report, entitled Widening Local Development Pathways is published by UNESCO and UNDP (United Nations Development Program) through the UN Office for South–South Cooperation. It bolsters the 2008 and 2010 editions with contributions relating to the unexploited potential of local creative economies.
Figures released in May 2013 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) put world trade in creative goods and services at a record US$624 billion in 2011, more than twice what it was in 2002. Another illustration of how cultural and creative industries can serve as development pathways by fostering creativity and innovation in the interest of people-centred, equitable, and sustainable growth.
The report explores and analyzes ways to strengthen and enhance results in order to further inclusive economic and social development. Its conclusions will inform international discussions relating to the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda and the role of culture in sustainable development. It will serve as an important tool for decision-makers by showing what the success of creative economy initiatives is likely to depend on in practice.
The report is made up of two complementary components: a conventional illustrated text and an online documentary that gives viewers a feel for the flourishing creative economy in developing countries.
To read and view the Report on the Creative Economy, visit the UNESCO website.
The Technical Assistance Program to Strengthen the Governance of Culture in Developing Countries began in 2010 through a partnership between UNESCO and the European Union and was designed both to strengthen developing countries' cultural governance and to consolidate culture's potential role in sustainable development and poverty reduction. The program was open to developing countries that had ratified the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and were eligible under the European Union Investing in People thematic program.
The new report presents concrete results from in-the-field projects in thirteen countries that have received highly specialized, expert technical assistance in implementing the 2005 Convention. Among project achievements is the creation of an expert facility dealing with fields covered by the Convention: cultural industries and policy and measures relating to cultural industries, artists, and cultural goods and services. The project permitted member states that applied for it to operationalize the 2005 Convention at the national level. The results have been very encouraging and should serve as a model for other partnerships of this type.
To read the report, visit the 2005 UNESCO Convention website.
For some weeks brief documentary videos on three projects supported by the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) have been available for viewing on the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Culture Expressions website.
One documentary looks at a book market regulation and reading promotion project piloted by the Croatian NGO Knjižni Blok. A group of legal experts and economists were convened to map out the local publishing industry and discuss policy, legislation, and other publishing-related issues with government stakeholders. Knjižni Blok eventually plans to release and distribute project documents and engage in local, regional, and national promotional activities. It will also seek to boost the status of books in society and promote a culture of reading by using local media to bolster the image of books.
Another video examines a project by the Dakar-based NGO Kër Thiossane, designed to bring out and create performing arts opportunities while also seeking a rapprochement between traditional artistic practices and digital arts. The project also explores what new technologies might have to offer traditional arts in order to better incorporate the notion of development.
The third video presents a project to establish a vocational school of theatre arts and production in Argentina, led by the NGO Fundación Teatro Argentino de la Plata. IFCD funding was provided to set up a low-cost program to teach theatre and production techniques to young people and unemployed adults. Admission criteria for students had to be developed and procedures and courses for a one-year set design program established.
To watch the videos, go to the 2005 UNESCO Convention website.
The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) worked closely with Agenda 21 for Culture, the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity, and Culture Action Europe to draft Culture as Goal in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, available on the IFACCA website.
The paper suggests items to use as a starting point in developing specific targets under the Post-2015 Development Agenda. These include for instance the importance of (a) integrating culture into all development policies and programs; (b) ensuring equal access to and participation in culture to all through the elaboration of specific policies and legal frameworks for indigenous peoples, minorities, women, and youth; and (c) developing and implementing national strategies on cultural diversity.
To read the paper, go to the IFACCA website.
Conference of Parties Resolution 4.CP 13 committed the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions to begin discussing digital technologies and how they might impact the Convention. Among the contributions received by the Convention Secretariat was an International Network of Lawyers for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (RIJDEC) study by network members Véronique Guèvremont, Ivan Bernier, Mira Burri, Marie Cornu, Lilian Richieri Hanania, and Hélène Ruiz Fabri under the direction of Professor Véronique Guèvremont of Université Laval's Faculty of Law and Institute for Advanced International Studies. The report is titled The Implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in the Digital Era: Issues, Priorities, and Recommendations. Among other documents received were contributions from France, the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, and Unión Latina de Economía Política de la Información la Comunicación y la Cultura (ULEPICC).
To see documents from parties to the Convention and civil society, go to the 2005 UNESCO Convention website.
Poland's Cultural Contact Point (CCP) has just published Closer Look: European Cultural Cooperation Networks, a guide to European cultural networks packed with examples to help cultural cooperation organizations work more effectively.
The Cultural Contact Point of Poland is part of a large European network of Cultural Contact Points. CCPs are responsible for promoting the European cultural programs, facilitating the participation of as many cultural professionals as possible, ensuring an exchange of information with national cultural institutions, maintaining contact between the participants in the various Community programmes and a link with the other sources of information on the various Community programs.
To read the guide, go to Culture360.org.
The theme of the sixth World Summit on Arts and Culture will be "Creative Times: New Models for Cultural Development." Co-hosts are the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and the National Council of Culture and Arts of Chile (CNCA). It will be held January 13 to 16, 2014, in Santiago.
Summit participants will consider how changes caused by globalization, social and economic development, and new forms of communication are generating new challenges and new opportunities in the field of culture, as well as how societies and governments might harness them positively as drivers of development.
The World Summit is the one important international summit that gathers professionals and practitioners involved in cultural policy and arts funding. This 6th World Summit offers a strategic opportunity to bring together key decision-makers and actors from the region involved in the challenges of funding the arts and supporting the development of creative industries and the cultural development of communities.
The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), the U40 Network, and the authors of "Culture as a Goal" are calling for volunteers for a special project.
UNESCO's May 2013 congress in Hangzhou, China, reaffirmed the intrinsic link between culture and sustainable development, laying the groundwork for this call for volunteers. IFCCD needs solid research pointing to the clear contributions cultural projects have been making to sustainable development in order to plead its case for culture as a post-2015 developmental goal.
IFCCD seeks an individual to inventory and analyze model initiatives worldwide and draw up case studies to quantify projects' contributions to their communities. It involves creating an interactive platform (on the U40 website or Facebook) for a project census providing a toolbox to popularize and raise awareness of this reality.
The U40 Network is an independent civil society network. It represents a concrete step towards the implementation of the Convention, by stimulating debates and ideas to better formulate cultural policies for cultural diversity throughout the world.
We reported in our September issue on the African Creative Economy Conference in Cape Town from October 6 and 9, an initiative of the Arterial Network creative network.
The presentations made by speakers at the conference are now available on the African Creative Economy Conference 2013 website.