New UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions established at Laval University

The first Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was established at Laval University (Law Faculty), during a ceremony held on November 17, 2016 at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec City, Canada.

This Chair, placed under the authority of Professor Véronique Guèvremont, also Vice Dean for Studies and Research at the Law Faculty, will focus on several areas of research of relevance to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, including: cultural policies, culture and sustainable development, culture and trade, impact of digital issues on the diversity of cultural expressions.

The Chair, in particular, will help to expand networks of researchers working in these areas and facilitate new cooperation and exchange programmes. More to this, it will bring together legal experts around the world to work on the challenges in public policies for implementing the Convention.

Special guests at the event included Simon Brault, Director of the Canada Council for the Arts Ms. Christina Cameron, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and François Pothier, Deputy Vice Rector at the Laval University.

"We all know that the 2005 Convention would not have come about without the support and mobilization of civil society, supported by the work of many scholars and lawyers. The creation of this UNESCO Chair opens a new chapter in this history. It is, in fact, the guarantee of an opening towards youth, exchanges, partnerships, networking and academic mobility", said Danielle Cliche, Secretary of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,.

Following the ceremony, a symposium on the impact of digital technologies on the creation, distribution and dissemination and enjoyment of cultural goods and services was held. Participants at the seminar discussed issues surrounding issues like the future of cultural exemption in the digital world and in the context of recent international trade agreements.

Ms Danielle Cliche, presented on this occasion the preliminary draft operational guidelines on the implementation of the Convention in the digital environment. These guidelines will be discussed by the Parties to the Convention at the 10th Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Committee, to be held from 12 to 15 December 2016 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

"Since the adoption of the Convention in 2005, digital technologies have changed the way in which cultural goods and services are made, distributed and consumed. The new draft operational guidelines give an opportunity for a much needed integrated approach to digital issues, due to the rapid growth of markets and economic pressures that may affect the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions", she underlined.

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