-Cultural Diversity Awareness-
"[..] That the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfil in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern [..]"
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 27; 10 Dec 1948
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Adopted by the 31st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO (Paris, 2 November 2001) [PDF] (translated in 6 languages)
"[..] Affirming that respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding are among the best guarantees of international peace and security, Aspiring to greater solidarity on the basis of recognition of cultural diversity, of awareness of the unity of humankind, and of the development of intercultural exchanges, Considering that the process of globalization, facilitated by the rapid development of new information and communication technologies, though representing a challenge for cultural diversity, creates the conditions for renewed dialogue among cultures and civilizations, [..]117 signatories member-states (since 2005): Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, ;Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint and the Grenadines, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad, Tunisia, Ukraine, UK, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe
Proclaims the following principles and adopts the present Declaration:
Article 1 – Cultural diversity: the common heritage of humanityCulture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.
Article 2 – From cultural diversity to cultural pluralismIn our increasingly diverse societies, it is essential to ensure harmonious interaction among people and groups with plural, varied and dynamic cultural identities as well as their willingness to live together. Policies for the inclusion and participation of all citizens are guarantees of social cohesion, the vitality of civil society and peace. Thus defined, cultural pluralism gives policy expression to the reality of cultural diversity. Indissociable from a democratic framework, cultural pluralism is conducive to cultural exchange and to the flourishing of creative capacities that sustain public life.
Article 3 – Cultural diversity as a factor in developmentCultural diversity widens the range of options open to everyone; it is one of the roots of development, understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence. [..]
Article 6 – Towards access for all to cultural diversityWhile ensuring the free flow of ideas by word and image care should be exercised so that all cultures can express themselves and make themselves known. Freedom of expression, media pluralism, multilingualism, equal access to art and to scientific and technological knowledge, including in digital form, and the possibility for all cultures to have access to the means of expression and dissemination are the guarantees of cultural
Article 7 – Cultural heritage as the wellspring of creativityCreation draws on the roots of cultural tradition, but flourishes in contact with other cultures. For this reason, heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced and handed on to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations, so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures.
Article 8 – Cultural goods and services: commodities of a unique kindIn the face of present-day economic and technological change, opening up vast prospects for creation and innovation, particular attention must be paid to the diversity of the supply of creative work, to due recognition of the rights of authors and artists and to the specificity of cultural goods and services which, as vectors of identity, values and meaning, must not be treated as mere commodities or consumer goods.
Article 9 – Cultural policies as catalysts of creativityWhile ensuring the free circulation of ideas and works, cultural policies must create conditions conducive to the production and dissemination of diversified cultural goods and services through cultural industries that have the means to assert themselves at the local and global level. It is for each State, with due regard to its international obligations, to define its cultural policy and to implement it through the means it considers fit, whether by operational support or appropriate regulations.
Article 10 – Strengthening capacities for creation and dissemination worldwideIn the face of current imbalances in flows and exchanges of cultural goods at the global level, it is necessary to reinforce international cooperation and solidarity aimed at enabling all countries, especially developing countries and countries in transition, to establish cultural industries that are viable and competitive at national and international level. [..]"
Notable member-states missing approval : USA, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Belgium, Thailand, Turkey, Iran, Taiwan, Singapore, Venezuela, Malaysia, Serbia, Israel, Morocco, Colombia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan... apparently these guys are pondering since 2001 whether protecting Cultural Diversity within their borders and abroad is more beneficial to them than reckless free market.
Canadian campaign to support the Coalition for Cultural Diversity [French version] 5'03" more promotional videos here
- 1989 : Growing pressure is exerted on countries to waive their right to enforce cultural policies, and to put all aspects of the cultural sector on the table when negotiating international trade agreements.
- 1993 : Pressure grows during the Uruguay Round of negotiations for the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The list for the services sector includes intellectual property and, more specifically, cinematographic and audiovisual works. Several countries take strong positions in favour of excluding culture from the negotiations. A very large majority of countries agree not to make liberalization commitments for cinematographic and audiovisual services. But without full exclusion the question remains unresolved.
- 1995 : Immediately following the Uruguay Round, new multilateral negotiations are initiated, notably as part of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) under the auspices of the OECD (abandoned in 1998), and by the WTO at its Seattle Summit and the Doha round of negotiations which began in 2001. Bilateral negotiations are also initiated, particularly by the United States, which put pressure on a number of countries to waive their right to adopt cultural policies.
- 1998 : Cultural professionals and political authorities mobilize around the initiative of implementing an international legal instrument that could offset the free trade agreements by affirming the right of States to define and implement cultural policies.
- 2001 : Adoption of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Hollywood’s share of the international motion picture market was 80%.
- 2003 : Start of negotiations at UNESCO with the aim of adopting the Convention.
- 2005 : The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is adopted by UNESCO. It changes the landscape: for the first time, countries in favour of cultural policies are no longer on the defensive at the negotiating table. Now they can go on the offensive.
- 2007 : The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions enters into force on March 18, 2007. Three months later, the 56 Member States that ratified the Convention meet in Paris for the first Conference of the Parties to begin work on implementing the Convention.
"I'm in favour of paying the relatively small price for maintaining diversity, rather than the large price of its loss."
"The UNESCO Convention is a piece of legislation which ensures freedom, since it is aimed at enabling governments to allow their cultures to thrive."
- Cultural diversity Awareness (series)
- UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) / Coalition for Cultural Diversity / International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity
- Artificial barriers against free circulation of world cinema