Culture Ministers met in Madrid

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on June 13, 2005.English

RIA Novosti's Juan Cobo

MADRID, June 13, (RIA Novosti's Juan Cobo) - Culture ministers from 72
countries discussed the preservation of cultural diversity at Madrid's
Prado Museum.

The two-day "culture summit" was convened on the initiative of Spain,
France and Brazil.

Conference delegates aimed to coordinate their positions before the
October 2005 UNESCO General Conference in Paris, Spanish Culture
Minister Carmen Calvo said. The conference is to pass an international
agreement that would help develop national cultures and preserve unique
small-country cultures.

Conference organizers believed that culture profitability was not the
most important thing because culture was a spiritual phenomenon
reflecting regional moral-ethical values.

The US delegation that had observer status in Madrid opposed this
concept, saying culture must be profitable, must develop in line with
market factors, and must not rely on state support.

The United States which controls 82 % of global film distribution and 70
% of music production insists on this concept.

More than 130 countries think that commercial culture is not the main
aspect. Most delegates suggested signing a convention on protecting
cultural diversity as an important spiritual-heritage element in Paris.

The document shall enter into force when ratified by 30 national

Culture ministers call for protecting cultural diversity
06/13/2005 -- 21:22(GMT+7)

Roma (VNA) - Culture ministers from around the world have agreed on a
binding United Nations convention to protect cultural diversity at the
World Cultural Ministerial Meeting, which concluded in Madrid on June 12.

Cultural ministers and officials from 70 countries have signed a draft
of the treaty which is hoped to ensure better multilateral relations,
democracy and sustainable development.

Delegates called upon the UN Education, Science and Culture Organisation
(UNESCO) to pass a draft accord at the body's next session in Paris in

Delegates outlined the need to curb the current homogenisation and
standardisation of culture, which is caused by commercialisation, and
could affect the cultural balance in the world.-