Canada becomes the first State to ratify the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural ExpressionsCanada has become the first State to ratify the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which was adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference last October.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, welcomed this first ratification of the new Convention. Stressing that “the defense of cultural diversity is at the core of the Organization’s mandate,” he recalled that “UNESCO has elaborated a range of standard-setting instruments to protect cultural diversity, to be found not only in tangible and intangible heritage, but also in contemporary forms of creativity.”
The result of a long process of maturation, including numerous meetings of independent and then governmental experts, the convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions seeks to reaffirm the links between culture, development and dialogue and to create an innovative platform for international cooperation. It follows UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity adopted in 2001, which recognized cultural diversity as “a source of exchange, innovation and creativity”, a “common heritage of humanity” that “should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.”
The new Convention reaffirms the sovereign right of States to elaborate cultural policies with a view “to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and reinforce international cooperation” while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Convention will enter into force three months after its ratification by 30 States Parties.