Diversity of cultural expressions

10 years UNESCO Convention

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of cultural expressions

The Convention was adopted on October 20, 2005 by UNESCO’s General Conference. By December 18, 2006, the 30 ratifications required had been obtained in order for this binding international legal instrument to enter into force on March 18, 2007. To date, over 143 countries and a regional economic integration organization – the European Union – have ratified the Convention.

This UNESCO convention was adopted because the international community called attention to the urgent need to implement international legislation that would recognize :

  • the distinctive nature of cultural goods, services and activities as vehicles of identity, values and meaning;
  • the fact that although cultural goods, services and activities have a significant economic value, they are not consumer goods that can be considered solely as trade commodities.

In short, the Convention’s underlying principle is that cultural goods, services and activities unquestionably have economic value but cannot be considered solely as trade commodities since they are vehicles of values, identities and meaning.

The Convention has two governing bodies: the Conference of the Parties and the Intergovernmental Committee. The Conference of the Parties is the plenary and supreme decision-making body of the Convention, while the Intergovernmental Committee works under the authority of the Conference of the Parties to promote the objectives and implementation of the Convention.

Find more information on Secretariat for Cultural Diversity website.

Last update: 2017-03-17 3:08:22 PM