Vol. 7, no 6, Monday, February 26, 2007
The Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions will come into effect on March 18, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE :
Having reached the threshold of 30 ratifications, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions will come into effect on March 18, 2007, as the Convention ratification campaign continues apace. At the time of writing, the total number of states that have deposited their instruments of ratification with UNESCO and are now party to the Convention is 48.
More than ever, 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.
As part of the “Information for All” publication series, UNESCO, with the help of the Latin Union and the expert Marcel Diki-Kidiri, has just published a study entitled “Comment assurer la présence d’une langue dans le cyberespace?” (How to ensure a language's presence in cyberspace). According to UNESCO, “cyberspace is open to all the world’s languages, because its infrastructure is not subject to a central authority that decides how it will be used. UNESCO notes that the study attempts to answer questions about what can be done to ensure that languages with limited linguistic, computer, and even human resources can secure their place in cyberspace. The study, in French only, can be viewed on the UNESCO website
This collection is the fruit of the World Culturelink Conference held in Zagreb in June 2005. The scientific coordinator for the publication, Biserka Cvjetičanin, notes that the testimonials and analyses in the volume “reflect the social and cultural transformations characterizing the period between the two World Culturelink Conferences, the first of which was held in 1995.” Through the 50-odd contributions, the study analyzes changes in various fields of culture and communication and their related practices against the backdrop of multiple globalizations, especially those spurred on by New Information and Communication Technology (NICT).The document, which is divided into five parts, presents a series of texts from varied disciplinary and geographical realms. The third section explores links between issues in communication, citizenship, multilingualism, multiculturalism, and interculturality in relation to cultural diversity, its preservation and promotion, and UNESCO’s role in taking its defence.
In 2006, the Council of Europe published a book entitled « Differing diversities - Eastern European perspectives ». In short, the volume deals with the challenges that cultural diversity poses in its different forms for conventional public policy development and our understanding of the public interest that these policies serve. The book can be ordered from the Council of Europe’s online bookstore.
On February 22, 2007, the French parliament passed legislation on the television of tomorrow presented by French minister of culture and communication Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. In a speech made on the same day, the minister stated, “There was an urgency to this bill: a technological urgency for the French, who will now enjoy faster, higher quality access to more TV channels at home and on their mobiles; a technological urgency to serve creative interests and cultural diversity, as well as the jobs that it helps create and develop.” The minister also stressed that “this law guarantees the future, development, and sustainable funding of the audiovisual and film sectors in the digital era thanks to major reforms championed by the National Assembly.”
The Organization of American States (OAS) has unveiled an ambitious cultural agenda for the hemisphere. According to an OAS press release of February 20, 2007, one of the activities announced by the Inter-American Committee on Culture is a symposium on cultural diversity. The symposium, which will be held in Brazil next summer, will explore links between globalization and culture, as well as the effects of the digital revolution on cultural relations between countries.