News Detail

09.05.2005

4th International meeting of Cultural Professional Organisations in Madrid

The Spanish Coalition for Cultural Diversity hosted a meeting of all existing Coalitions to discuss progress on the negotiation of a new international treaty at UNESCO for the protection and the promotion of cultural diversity. Faced with unprecedented waves of trade liberalisation in goods and services, cultural organisations have gathered in many countries to ensure that cultural goods and services do not fall within the WTO negotiation rounds. Their fear is that national measures aiming to encourage and preserve cultural production reflecting local traditions, language, history, etc. (e.g. state aids to cinematographic production or broadcasting quotas) will otherwise be declared incompatible with free trade and be axed. Resenting the content harmonisation that may flow from that, the Coalitions for Cultural Diversity are actively urging countries of the world to agree on a specific binding treaty that would acknowledge the specific nature of cultural goods and services and grant them ad hoc protection. The latter are due to meet in Paris, from May 25 to June 4, for what is likely to be a key stage in the negotiation of an effective international treaty.

Dominick Luquer – General Secretary of FIA – stressed the need for a wider dialogue between cultural organisations on the actual scope of the treaty and for a better coordination of their respective positions. He also stressed the importance of a clear recognition in the new treaty of the importance of intellectual property rights for a successful cultural policy, including in developing countries.

Statement by D. Luquer (FR v. only)
More information about the Madrid meeting and its final declaration