UNESCO approves convention on cultural diversity


UNESCO has approved the Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD), after several years of negotiations. The CCD (formally known as the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions) is meant to provide legal backing to the principle that culture cannot be reduced to a commodity. Concretely, it may help countries exclude their cultural policies, including 'audiovisual services' - otherwise known as the mass media - from 'free trade' deals like the WTO.

During the negotiations, progressive NGO networks like the International Network on Cultural Diversity and the campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society called for broad civil society support for the CCD, but warned that it should not be subordinated to the WTO and should be written to support cultural and media diversity inside countries, not only between them. In addition, they successfully lobbied for the elimination of language that would have supported the current extremist copyright regime, but they failed to insert references to the importance of the public domain, fair use, and the creative commons.

For a roundup of news related to the UNESCO process, check out del.icio.us/tag/mediatrade.

New Key Documents:

  • Final Text of the Convention. [en | fr]
  • Statement by the CRIS campaign on the Convention's adoption: [en, fr]

    Older Key Documents:

  • Earlier comments by the CRIS campaign [
    en | es | fr]
  • Comments by the INCD [word]
  • UNESCO overview of the Convention process
  • Daily reports from the II session of the intergovernmental meeting [Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12 ]
  • Reports from the III (final) session of the intergovernmental meeting: UNESCO report | INCD