The first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions - which was adopted in October 2005 by UNESCO’s General Conference and entered into force on 18 March 2007 – will be held at UNESCO from 18 to 20 June 2007.
The Convention aims to reinforce the links between culture and sustainable development and establishes an innovative approach to international cooperation. It reaffirms respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, equal dignity of cultures, equitable access and openness of cultures to the world.
The Convention recognizes the distinctive nature of cultural goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning. It therefore recognizes the sovereign right of States to elaborate cultural policies to promote the diversity of cultural expressions within their territories, and to encourage equitable access to all cultural expressions in the world. Parties to the Convention are committed to facilitating cultural exchange within their borders as well as with other countries.
The Conference of Parties, the Convention’s supreme body, will notably adopt its rules of procedure and elect the 24 members of the Intergovernmental Committee that will operate under its supervision.
To date, 63 Parties* have ratified the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The 57 States that did so before 20 March 2007, or three months before the closing day of this meeting, are those entitled to attend the first session of the Conference of Parties.
With the Convention’s entry into force, UNESCO now disposes of a comprehensive set of standard-setting instruments, comprising seven conventions** covering cultural diversity in all of its manifestations, and especially the two pillars of culture: heritage - tangible and intangible - and contemporary creativity.
*(in chronological order of ratification) Canada, Mauritius, Mexico, Romania, Monaco, Bolivia, Djibouti, Croatia, Togo, Belarus, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Republic of Moldova, Peru, Guatemala, Senegal, Ecuador, Mali, Albania, Cameroons, Namibia, India, European Community (as a regional economic integration organization), Finland,Austria, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Estonia, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Bulgaria, Cyprus, South Africa, Ireland, Greece, Brazil, Norway, Uruguay, Panama, China, Saint Lucia, Iceland, Andorra, Tunisia, Jordan, Italy, Armenia, Germany, Chili, Niger, Portugal, Oman
Ratification after 20 March 2007: Côte d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Gabon, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , Cuba, Bangladesh
Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005); Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003);
Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001);
Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972);
Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property (1970);
Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954);
Universal Copyright Convention (1952, 1971).
Accredited journalists will be able to attend the opening session of the conference (10 am, Room XI, 18 June).