Global alliance for cultural diversity presents its first resultsPromoting Algeria’s book policy and strengthening its publishing sector, boosting the music industry in Jamaica, helping to market hand-woven items from Tibet abroad, making small Central American publishers more competitive and creating new musical production standards in Africa through cooperatives are some of the achievements of UNESCO’s Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity, whose first results will be presented at a conference at UNESCO Headquarters on December 2 (Room XI, 9.15 a.m.).
UNESCO Director-General Koďchiro Matsuura will open the conference -Supporting the Growth of Creative Industries. Speakers will include representatives of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Ford Foundation, the International Confederation of Authors’ and Composers Societies, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
UNESCO launched the Global Alliance in January 2002 to reinforce cultural industries in developing countries and countries in transition while improving the protection of intellectual property rights. By connecting public bodies, the private sector and civil society in developed and developing countries, the Alliance helps build the capacities of local cultural industries and find new regional and international markets for their products.
For example, the Alliance is encouraging respect for copyright in Colombia, in cooperation with the national Authors Rights Office, by producing a booklet for schoolchildren on the subject and running a public awareness campaign in Bogota city buses. In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Alliance is working with St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum to encourage a merchandizing strategy for museum shops. The Conference of December 2 will present these projects alongside other pilot projects. Twenty-five are already under way and about 50 others being planned.
The Alliance now has more than 170 partners - including private companies, NGOs, foundations, professional associations and research centres etc. - in 64 countries and has raised US$ 850,000 from private and public sources. It has also set up an online partners’ database* to match supply and demand and stimulate new projects.
Cultural industries - which include print and multimedia publishing, film and television production, music publishing, handicraft and design - all create goods and services that are protected by copyright. The cultural industries transmit values that reinforce social cohesion, moreover they are among the fastest growing sectors of the world economy. In 2000, their global trade totalled $831 billion (more than two and half times the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa). It is forecast to rise to $1,300 billion by 2005, an annual increase of 7.2 percent.
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Journalists wishing to attend the conference should register by calling +33 (0)1 4568-1748