Monday, October 24, 2005

Choike,org on the UNESCO adoption of the Convention on Cultural Diversity

Read the full statement on the Choike website.


"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.

"After more than three years of sometimes cantankerous debates, the General Conference of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation), meeting at the Paris headquarters, adopted by overwhelming majority the Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions.

"In the Thursday vote, 148 countries approved the convention, two -- the United States and Israel -- voted against it, and four abstained. The new rules will enter into force three months after its ratification by 30 states.

"Although the treaty is seen as a triumph for developing and European countries in the struggle to preserve their unique cultural identities from domination by the so-called "entertainment industry", à la Hollywood, many experts see it as only a first step.

"'The adoption of this convention is a moral victory, but the real test is whether developing countries will resist U.S. pressure to commit their audiovisual services and information services during trade negotiations,' Sasha Constanza Koch, media expert with the coalition Communication Rights in the Information Society, told IPS."


Read Choike's materials published on its website in September in support of the Convention.


Choike is a portal dedicated to improving the visibility of the work done by NGOs and social movements from the South. It serves as a platform where citizen groups can disseminate their work and at the same time enrich it with information from diverse sources, which is presented from the perspective of Southern civil society.

The word Choike is taken from the language of the Mapuche, a tribe living in the southern South America, and refers to the Southern Cross -- the guidestar of the southern hemesphere.

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