Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 14, no 6, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals publishes its report

IN THIS ISSUE :

Recent Publications

Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices



Recent Publications

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals publishes its report

At its 13th session the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals presented its report, which included its proposed SDGs (sustainable development goals). The Open Working Group (OWD) is a 30 member1, intergovernmental group set up by the UN to draft a report and develop concrete proposals on SDGs universally relevant to every country2.

The report published on July 19, 2014, consists of an 18 paragraph introduction, 17 objectives, and 169 targets. Paragraph 9 of the introduction refers to the 2012 Rio+20 Summit,3 which acknowledged the natural and cultural diversity of the world, and recognized that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to sustainable development (par. 41, Rio+20 Resolution). Note that culture is mentioned in some of the targets, including protecting world natural and cultural heritage, innovation and creativity, promotion of sustainable tourism and local products, education on cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development, and traditional knowledge.

The report was submitted to the UN General Assembly in September 2014. The next step was to draft, before the end of 2014, a Secretary-Generals report summarizing all contributions, including the those of the working group on SDGs, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, and Structured Dialogues on Technology, all under the auspices of the UN, as well as regional dialogues on responsibility4. Negotiations on the development program for post-2015 are ongoing and will continue until September 2015. The program will then be adopted at a High-Level Summit.

For additional information, consult the OWG report on the UN website.

2 Paragraph18 of the introduction reads as follows: Sustainable Development Goals are accompanied by targets and will be further elaborated through indicators focused on measurable outcomes. They are action oriented, global in nature, and universally applicable.

3 The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) was held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 to 22, 2012. The conference aim was to generate new policy ideas, particularly in the area of environmental protection.

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Publication of Cultural Diversity in International Law: The Effectiveness of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Expressions

Last spring saw the release of an academic work, Cultural Diversity in International Law: The Effectiveness of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, edited by Lilian Richieri Hanania. The work provides an updated view of the Convention and addresses such topical issues as the Convention's impact on trade negotiations; considering environmental, social, and cultural concerns from a sustainable development perspective; the latest WTO case law developments in the area of general exceptions; and bringing culture into our considerations of sustainable development with the Québec government's Agenda 21 as a model for the implementation of Article 13 of the Convention.

To find out more, view the website of the publisher, Routledge Research in International Law.

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Reference to the diversity of cultural expressions in the Declaration of Port-au-Prince on Cultural Interdependence in the Context of Globalization in the OAS's Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities

On August 13 and 14, 2014, the VI Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities was held in Port-au-Prince, organized by the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI). The Declaration of Port-au-Prince, Cultural Interdependence in the Context of Globalization, makes explicit reference to the diversity of cultural expressions, recognizing the importance of preserving and promoting intercultural dialogue and respect for diversity of cultural expressions in the design and implementation of public policies for integral and sustainable development in our communities.

While the international community is working to set new objectives for development post-2015, it is notable that OAS states have acknowledged the importance of considering culture in the Post-2015 Development Agenda in connection with the Millennium Development Goals, not only for their contribution to peace, social inclusion, tolerance, and reconciliation, but also for their fundamental impact on inclusive economic development in our countries, both as a generator of income and employment, and as a core element of sustainable development.

To read the full text of the Declaration, go to the OAS website.

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Cultural Policies and Measures – Best Practices

The launch of the Québec Digital Culture Plan

Since 2010, Québec's Ministère de la Culture et des Communications has been carrying out a far-reaching consultation process with a range of private and public sector organizations to determine the actions to take in the field of culture to bring Québec into the digital era.

On September 29, 2014, the Québec government launched the Québec Digital Culture Plan, which will ensure the vitality of Québec culture and promote it on local, national, and international markets. It will notably help the culture industry make a smooth transition into the digital age, ensuring that this sector remains a vital part of the Québec economy able to compete internationally. The Plan has three main thrusts:

  1. Create digital cultural content
  2. Innovate to adapt to cultural content
  3. Disseminate digital cultural content to make it more accessible

A new discussion forum on this topic has been created on the Cocoriko online platform. The general public as well as digital creators and experts are invited to share their views on issues related to the spread of digital culture in Québec and beyond. The organization responsible for organizing and moderating discussions is Culture pour tous, whose mission is to promote and democratize arts and culture in Québec.

To find out more, visit the Québec Digital Plan website (French only).

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