UNESCO celebrates 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and decides on future priorities

The Conference of Parties to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions brought together representatives of the 138 countries and the European Union, which have ratified the Convention. The meeting marked the international agreement’s 10th anniversary.

“Cultural goods and services represent millions of jobs, and drive economic growth—they also represent a wellspring of identity and collective strength,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, at the meeting. She explained that the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions plays a key role in positioning culture as a driving force of sustainable development.

The Conference elected 12 new members to the 24-member Intergovernmental Committee in charge of implementing the Convention.The newly elected Committee members are: Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, and Slovakia.  They will serve on the Committee for four years.

Parties decided to work on operational guidelines that will address the challenges of digitization and maximize its benefits for the diversity of cultural expressions and creative industries worldwide. Experts invited to a special session on digital trends in the sector included representatives of the International Telecommunications Union and Wikimedia Foundation.

Parties also decided to increase capacity-building initiatives targeting policy makers, cultural industry players, artists and entrepreneurs. They decided to make public a collection of cases showing how cultural goods and services have been treated in bilateral and international trade agreements (See item 3.2). They also called for an increase in voluntary contributions to the Fund for Cultural Diversity which has been used to finance 80 projects in developing countries to date.