144 Countries and the EU to set Guidelines to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment

09 June 2017

Representatives from the countries* that have ratified UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions will examine ways to apply the guiding principles of the Convention in the digital environment, when they hold their biennial meeting at UNESCO Headquarters from 13 to 15 June. During the event, participants will approve Operational Guidelines on the Implementation of the Convention in the Digital Environment.

These Guidelines will help countries ensure that artists and producers benefit fully and fairly from the information technologies’ potential both at the stages of creation, production and distribution.

They also address concerns such as: fair pay for artists and content producers, ensuring a culturally inclusive offer of content to the public that will not discriminate against cultural goods based on provenance, language or social factors, as well as respect for human rights in the digital environment, notably freedom of expression, artistic freedom and gender equality.

As noted in UNESCO’s report “Re | Shaping Cultural Policies, the digital revolution has fundamentally altered the way in which cultural goods and services are produced, distributed and accessed. with the expansion of social networks and user-generated content, the proliferation of multimedia devices and the emergence of powerful web-based companies. These factors mean the digital environment requires new business models for e-commerce and streaming for example, and new policies to protect copyright.

For the first time this year, UNESCO will host a Civil Society Organizations’ Forum prior to the Conference of Parties, on 12 June. On that day, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Jean-Michel Jarre, who is President of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), will give a keynote address on the fair remuneration of artists in the digital environment. Norwegian documentary film director Deeyah Khan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity, will also speak at the Forum.

A noteworthy side event to the Conference of Parties will be the first European screening of the winner of the 2016 UNESCO-sponsored Cultural Diversity Award at the 11th Asia pacific Screen Awards, “Reseba: The Dark Wind,” 13 June (6.30 pm).

On the last day of the meeting, there will be a panel discussion of UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity with presentations by beneficiaries from Burkina Faso, Haiti and Morocco to showcase how the fund reinforces the cultural industries in developing countries.

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Media contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Media Service, r.amelan@unesco.org +33(0)145681650

*144 countries plus the European Union