Tuesday, February 15, 2005

"UNESCO to Stop US Cultural Imperialism"


The headline of this Turkish newspaper article on the Cultural Diversity Convention illustrates just how controversial the Convention has become.

"The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) two years ago initiated studies to preserve cultural diversity in the world. UNESCO has been preparing to take steps to protect endangered cultural diversity with the introduction of an international convention. Experts gathering at UNESCO's head office in Paris have been discussing details of the final draft of the Convention for the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expression...........

"UNESCO's 190 members are now in split over the discussions about the Convention draft. Countries led by France and Canada who make up the majority demand a regulation enshrining cultural diversity in a legally binding convention to be given to governments in order to protect their national culture against free-trade competition and, if required, to adopt a protectionist approach. The US, on the other hand, claims along with a few other countries that cultures can best develop in a free-market context and objects to crucial parts of the draft. Japan, which has a great share of the world's cartoon market, and India, which promotes its HBollywood made films to the world, support the US, while Latin American and African countries are in agreement with France and Canada. Speaking to Zaman regarding the draft, Turkey's UNESCO representative Ambassador Numan Hazar noted yesterday that Turkey also adopts theFrench and Canadian line, which is supported by the European Commission, and favors, if necessary, the implementation of protectionist policies in order to preserve cultural values."

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