Documents   |   About   |   Links   |   Contact

GATS Negotiations and Cultural Policies

As reported in the last issue of the INCD Newsletter, the December meeting of trade ministers in Hong Kong has given new impetus to the WTO's Doha Round of negotiations. One of the decisions reached by ministers was a new process for GATS negotiations that, according to INCD Steering Committee member Jane Kelsey, ?will directly affect audiovisual services, and other sectors with major impacts on culture, such as telecommunications, computer-related services and logistics (including distribution services).
Filed Under: English | WTO

Media Development on cultural diversity



On 20 October 2005 UNESCO finally approved its Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. One hundred and fifty-one nations voted in favour of the text, including the 25 members of the European Union and Brazil. Two years of heated negotiations resulted in a document that is 'clear, carefully balanced, and consistent with the principles of international law and fundamental human rights' or, depending on your point of view, 'a charter for unscrupulous governments to erect trade barriers, suppress minority cultures and block the free flow of information.' WACC endorses the call for governments to ratify the new Convention, for civil society to use it both to monitor future bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations and as a means to transform international and national policies on culture, media and communication.
Filed Under: English | Español | Français | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies

Korea agrees to slash screen quota

Korea has agreed to slash a screen quota reserving time in the theaters for
domestic films to 73 days a year as requested by Washington, thus removing
the last hurdle to free trade negotiations with the U.S. The government will
Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | English | Screen Quotas

US wants Korea to cut screenquota days

AmCham wants coalition of film industries: A reduction in the mandatory screening days for domestic films would pave the way for a coalition between the film industries of South Korea and the United States, said Tami Overby, president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Korea, Wednesday.
Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | English

El $uper muro norteamericano

El $uper muro norteamericano
Producto del impacto de los TLCs

Cuando nos llega la noticia de la futura construcción del Super Muro Norteamericano, inmediatamente se nos viene a la mente el TLC de Centro América, que firmaron los distintos gobiernos de esa región hace sólo meses, así como el TLC Andino, que recientemente rubricó Perú.
Filed Under: Commercialism | Español | NAFTA

Another Type of Media is Possible and necessary for a Pro-Poor Role in Bangladesh

Special: Another Type of Mass Media Is Not Only Possible But also an immediate pre-requisite for Establishing Pro-Poor Role in Bangladesh. By AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication: info AT bnnrc.net, www.bnnrc.net
Filed Under: English | Media Ownership

UNESCO agreement shows political costs

The political costs to the US government of invading Iraq accumulate in
small and large ways.

City and national governments worldwide are slowly switching to the
free-software GNU/Linux operating system rather than pay tribute to
Filed Under: English

Ratification of Cultural Diversity Convention

[english below]
Subject: Lettre sur la diversité culturelle

Chers amis,

Le travail effectué par les ONG en vue de l'adoption de la Convention sur "la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles" doit se poursuivre en vue de sa ratification par les Etats membres dans les meilleurs délais, afin d'en assurer l'application. C'est pourquoi nous vous invitons à maintenir vos efforts dans les pays où sont présentes vos Organisations. Nous espérons que la lettre jointe pourra vous y aider. Avec mon meilleur souvenir. Françoise Sauvage, Présidente du Comité de Liaison
Filed Under: Commercialism | English | Français | Internet and Broadband | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Radio | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable

Media Trade Monitor Invites Submissions

Somewhere between 500-600 people are visiting MTM every day, but the vast majority of readers have never posted reports, original articles, reposts, or comments. For the site to continue to grow into a good resource for researchers, activists, and policymakers interested in the intersection of trade agreements and the communication and cultural sectors, we need you to contribute!
Filed Under: English

WTO Wrap-up

The Hong Kong WTO Ministerial is over. If you're interested in contributing analysis of what implications the Hong Kong text will have for media, culture, and communication, please submit a story (use the link on the top left of this page to add content.) For analysis of what happened in HK, both inside the negotiations and on the streets, check out the following links:

Bridges (International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development) | No WTO Hong Kong Wiki | People's caravan aims for WTO and Hong Kong | Direct Action Against the WTO | Go Media (videos) | People's Radio Hong Kong | Indymedia.org article | Stop the New Round Coalition | Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO | Transnational Institute: Beyond the WTO | Global Exchange's WTO Page | International Forum on Globalization | Peoples Global Action | Global Issues article | SEATINI - WTO and Africa | Media Culture Action (South Korea) | Stop WTO Video Blog | Hong Kong Independent Media
Filed Under: English | WTO

Activists mobilize for Hong Kong WTO

Trade ministers, NGOs, and social movements are all converging on Hong Kong, China, for the 6th Ministerial meeting of the WTO (World Trade Organization), which will take place from December 13-18th, 2005. A network of movement activity is bustling, with hubs including the Hong Kong People's Alliance on the WTO [en | chinese] and the Stop the New Round Coalition (SNRC), among others.

Peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea are getting organized to come to Hong Kong, mobilize against corporate globalization and present alternative proposals. Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned between December 11th-18th, with the majority of activity during The People's Action Week, opening with a Public Assembly of the movements on the 13th and closing with a mass march on the 18th.

Organizing momentum has increased with a string of strategy meetings and declarations by Asian regional NGO and social movements, including the Colombo Declaration in June: "We, workers, organized and un-organized, peasants, dalits, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks, women, students, migrants and other marginalized communities of Asia in solidarity with other peoples of the world will stand at the forefront of the global struggle against the Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting."

Media activists will also be arriving from around the region and across the world to hold workshops and skillshares, to strategize together, and to plan independent coverage of the mobilizations and events in Hong Kong. The media conference and workshop is called New Media and Social Transformation. The major purpose of the conference is to have more in-depth discussion on the independent media movement in Asia, and plan possible long-run collaborations. However, a workshop will be organized for independent reporters to cover the WTO, and a sharing and exchange workshop will be organized by the end of the WTO mobilization. Here is an update of the New Media and Social Transformation conference plan . [inmediahk site in chinese].


More background:
ZNet | Third World Network | Declaration of conference on WTO, Development and Migration | Colombo Declaration

Mobilization Links:

  • Stop the New Round Coalition (SNRC)
  • The Hong Kong People's Alliance on the WTO [en | chinese]
  • New Media and Social Transformation [blog].

Filed Under: English | WTO

Mexican Civil Society’s Movement for the Promotion of Culture

Special Report by Rafael Segovia, Member of the INCD’s Steering Committee

The recent months have seen Mexico’s political temperature rising at exponential rate. The 2006 federal elections are the main focus, since the traditional stakes are raised by the appearance on the political scene of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist (PRD ) mayor of Mexico City whose strong media presence has gained him support from many of the key sectors of social, political and economical power. If he were to win the 2006 elections, it would probably bring a radical shift in Mexican politics, an end many of the traditional prerogatives of the long-ruling PRI and the right-wing, catholic PAN (its “second voice” for many years, presently holding the presidential office).
Filed Under: English | Noncommercial Media

UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity: CRIS Statement/ UNESCO Convention sur la diversité culturelle: Communiqué CRIS

The campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS:
www.crisinfo.org) welcomes UNESCO's near-unanimous approval of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions. The Convention is a clear demonstration that governments recognize that culture cannot be reduced to a mere commodity. By endorsing the Convention, governments have shown that they are prepared to take positive steps to support cultural diversity in the age of global cultural industries.
Filed Under: Campaign Material | Copyright/Fair Use | English | Français | Key documents | Media Ownership | NGO | Noncommercial Media | Press Release | Screen Quotas | Social Movement | Subsidies | WTO

UNESCO adopts convention to protect diversity

PARIS, Oct 20 (IPS) - The United Nations cultural body adopted an international treaty Thursday to protect cultural diversity, marking what experts say is a first but important moral victory in the long-running fight to preserve the world's cultural richness.
Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | Radio | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | USAUSFTA | WTO

CPTech Statement on UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

This week, 151 countries are supporting UNESCO Convention on the
Protection of Cultural Diversity while the US and Israel are against
it (Australia and the Pacific island of Kiribati are abstaining). This is my take on it. Everyone is focusing on the politics of it (the US isolated again etc) but I am most interested in the cultural exception issue.
Filed Under: English | Media Ownership | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO

U.S. Stands Alone on Unesco Cultural Issue

The New York Times | October 13, 2005 | News Analysis | U.S. Stands Alone on Unesco Cultural Issue | By ALAN RIDING

PARIS, Oct. 12 - Two years ago, in an uncharacteristic nod toward multilateralism, the Bush administration ended a 19-year-long American boycott of Unesco. Today, the United States risks total isolation in the 191-member organization as the sole country opposing a new convention on cultural diversity.
Filed Under: English

Diversity of Cultural Expressions News

Here is the link to consult the Diversity of Cultural Expressions News of this week: http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/index.html

In this edition of our Newsletter: The State Department of the USA held a second public briefing to discuss their work in the negotiations of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity;

Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Français | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO

The WTO, the Internet and Trade in Digital Products

Flyer for a new book on electronic trade and WTO: The rapid development of the Internet has led to a growing potential for electronic trade in digital content like movies, music and software. As a result, there is a need for a global trade framework applicable to such digitally delivered content products. Yet, digital trade is currently not explicitly recognised by the trade rules and obligations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Filed Under: Academic | Book | English | Government | Industry | Internet and Broadband | Media Ownership | Research Paper | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

Update on the intellectual property language in the UNESCO treaty

This is a short update on the intellectual property language in the UNESCO draft convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions (more commonly known as the Convention on Cultural Diversity).
Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English

State Dept. holds second briefing on UNESCO Convention

On Wednesday, July 27, 2005, the State Department held a second public briefing to discuss their work in the negotiations of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. Government delegates from over 180 countries have negotiated the final text of the proposed Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD). It will be submitted to the UNESCO General Assembly in the fall of 2005.
Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Media Ownership | Screen Quotas | Subsidies

Diversity of Cultural Expressions News

Diversity of Cultural Expressions News of this week: http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/index.html

In this edition of our Newsletter: September 13 to 29: 172nd session of the UNESCO Executive Board; October 3 to 21: 33rd session of the UNESCO General Conference; September 12: The Global Alliance international conference ‘Partnerships on the Move’; UNESCO Convention: “Focus Now on Building Strong Vote for Adoption in October” – The mobilization in Canada; Cultural Diversity and Promotion of European and Independent Audiovisual Production:
Filed Under: Commercialism | English | Français | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable

UNESCO approves convention on cultural diversity

UNESCO logo 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
  • Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | FTAA | NAFTA | Regional FTAs | USAUSFTA | WTO

    North and South countries differ on assessment of services talks

    North and South countries differ on assessment of services talks, and on the need or otherwise for new negotiating approach. A week of services negotiations took place at the WTO in the week 27 June to
    Filed Under: English | WTO

    Unanimous democracy

    The modern democratic credo - worship of liberties, enshrinement of human rights, exaltation of humanitarian liberalism and "soft" consensus - occupies a central position in the thought system that reigns over the ideological and political landscape of our time.
    Filed Under: English

    Iberian-America Protects Its Cultural Diversity

    Madrid, 15 Jun (Prensa Latina) Culture ministers and delegates from 18 Latin American nations, as well as Spain and Portugal, signed the "Declaration of Cordoba", which will serve as a base for common public policies to legally protect cultural diversity.

    Culture Ministers met in Madrid

    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,
    Filed Under: English

    Diversity of Cultural Expressions News, June 13, 2005

    Dear Reader,

    Here is the link to consult the Diversity of Cultural Expressions News of
    this week :

    http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/index.html

    We hope this bulletin will provide you with pertinant information and keep
    Filed Under: English | Français

    NGO REGISTRATION FOR HONG KONG WTO

    Details of how NGOs can register to attend the 6th WTO Ministerial
    Conference in Hong Kong, 13 to 18 December 2005, are now available at
    https://meetings.wto.org/NGO/PreRegistration/ngohome.aspx?Language=3DE
    Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Internet and Broadband | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Radio | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

    Where’s Our Culture Headed? Not Overseas, That’s for Sure

    VICTORIA—Take a walk around any of Canada’s metropolitan cities and you’ll come across stores selling African drums and crafts, or maybe Tibetan jewellery and Buddha statues, or Chinese tea sets and traditional music.

    Report by Garry Neil (INCD) on final round of UNESCO negotiations, 25 May - 5 June 2005

    INCD logo

    We are only half way through the third and final meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts which is considering the terms of a Convention on cultural diversity. However, the rhythm of the meeting is well established and it is now possible to contemplate the broad parameters of the final outcome, with only a couple of elements remaining under consideration. The meeting may conclude ahead of schedule [...]
    Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Key documents | Media Ownership | NGO | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO