The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the President of the General Conference, Ambassador Musa Bin Jaafar Bin Hassan, signed on 9 December 2005, the text of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted at the 33rd session of the General Conference last October 20, 2005. This signature certifies the six language versions of the Convention, thus opening the path for its ratification by Member States. The Convention will enter into force three months after its ratification by 30 States Parties.
Already, Canada has become the first State to ratify this Convention
Several national and international promoters as well commonly agree in recognizing that pressures regarding the diversity of cultural expressions become more and more numerous in the present context of free trade exchanges and technological developments. They indeed underline that trade agreements have been placing increasing pressure on countries to give up their right to have cultural policies to ensure their citizens have access to their own culture, as well as culture from other countries around the world. This is why the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is so important:
The Convention will enter into force three months after the registering date of the thirtieth ratification instrument. In order for the first Conference of the Parties to meet as quickly as possible, that is within the next UNESCO General Conference as soon as Fall 2007, the thirtieth ratification instrument should be registered on June 30, 2007 at the latest, thus allowing the Convention to become effective on September 30.
For the Convention to have a real scope, ratifications should rapidly come from a large number of States and from all regions of the world: Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. On one hand, the larger the number of Parties to the Convention the more the Convention shall take its due place into the international law system, and the more its objectives and the means to attain them shall become recognized, on the other hand .
In our future issues, we will progressively indicate, as soon as possible, the States that have ratified the Convention or pledged to do so, thus allowing you to have a better follow up of that progress.