On December 4, 2012, International Organization of La Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie-OIF) and Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie-APF), together with National Assembly of Gabon, organized a seminar on the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Libreville, Gabon.
This seminar was the first in a series designed to better equip members of parliament in four countries—Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Senegal—with tools to strengthen the cultural policies and industries of these countries. The initiative is in keeping with the OIF support program to strengthen cultural policies and industries in francophone countries in the Southern hemisphere. It also ties in with The Québec City Declaration on the Commitment of La Francophonie Parliamentarians to Implement the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which notably calls for sharing best practices among parliaments.
Some 50 Gabonese parliamentarians and senators had the opportunity to discuss issues related to the diversity of cultural expressions and the state of cultural policy and programs in their nation. Presentations from parliamentarians and various civil society representatives from cultural fields yielded a number of possible approaches and concrete actions with the potential to bring the Convention to life and apply it on the ground in Gabon.
The OIF support program to strengthen cultural policies and industries in francophone countries in the Southern hemisphere aims to bolster the ability of four selected countries—Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, and Senegal—to formulate and implement policies and measures aimed at promoting diversity of cultural expressions as well as the consolidation of industries—with the goal that these actions contribute to the countries' economic and social development.
The Québec City Declaration on the Commitment of La Francophonie Parliamentarians to Implement the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was adopted by members of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie at the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Québec City, Canada, in February 2011.