Three years after UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, its intergovernmental committee is meeting in Paris on 8 - 12 December. International cooperation and sustainable development will be on the agenda of the meeting that will be opened by the Director-General of the Organization, Koïchiro Matsuura.
The 24-member committee*, chaired by Gilbert Laurin (Canada), will examine ways to promote international cooperation in cultural expressions, as well as to encourage the signatories to integrate culture within sustainable development, in line with the terms of the Convention.
The members of the committee will also examine draft proposals concerning the use of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity, which aims to encourage the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector. The committee’s decisions will then be submitted to the Conference of Parties to the Convention for approval at its meeting in June 2009.
Finally, the Committee will examine the question of preferential treatment for developing countries, on the basis of six expert reports. According to Article 16 of the Convention, “developed countries shall facilitate cultural exchanges with developing countries by granting, through the appropriate institutional and legal frameworks, preferential treatment to artists and other cultural professionals and practitioners, as well as cultural goods and services from developing countries.” The primary objective of this clause is to facilitate cultural exchanges with developing countries.
The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions recognizes the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning. It also recognizes the right of States to draft policies that encourage diversity of cultural expressions on their territories and equitable access to all forms of cultural expression from all over the world. Ninety-four States have become party to the Convention to date. The European Community, which ratified the text as an organization for regional economic integration.
* Albania, Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany Greece, Guatemala, India, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Oman, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Slovenia South Africa, and Tunisia.
- The meeting will be held at UNESCO Headquarters, Room XII.
- The opening ceremonies (10 a.m.) will be open to the press
- More information on the Convention