UNESCO's Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions hosted its information workshop on the linkages between trade and culture at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on March 3.
Sixteen undergraduate and graduate students from Kobe University attended, accompanied by Professor Kazunari Sakai. They learned a great deal about the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, in particular Article 16 on preferential treatment and Article 21 on international consultation and coordination.
Participants were divided into groups to discuss three case studies on trade agreements and culture. The session finished up with each group making a presentation on the differences between the three trade agreements and the benefits of having a cultural cooperation accord. The duality of cultural goods and services (with their economic as well as cultural value) was emphasized, as was the importance of granting preferential treatment to developing countries to open up markets for their artists and culture professionals and for the cultural goods and services they provide.
Currently there are 145 Parties to the Convention–144 states and one regional economic integration organization (the European Union). Japan has not ratified the Convention. The information workshop raised awareness of the benefits of ratifying the Convention.