Diversity of cultural expressions

Status of the diversity of cultural expressions

Some of the rules contained in international trade agreements could call into question the support that states and governments provide in cultural matters. Indeed, one of the objectives of such agreements is to reduce trade and investment barriers in order to stimulate trade and economic growth.

Furthermore, cultural policies and various measures that support culture, such as financial contributions to artists, limits on foreign ownership and radio/television broadcasting quotas can be regarded as trade barriers.

In terms of the diversity of cultural expressions, preserving the capacity of states and governments to devise and implement their cultural policies is therefore what is fundamentally at stake. Artists and other professionals in the cultural sector are deeply affected by this issue since they rely on support resulting from such policies.

On a broader level, there is widespread concern in the international community that applying purely market rules to cultural sectors will lead to cultural homogenization and the disappearance of some cultures in favour of those that are the most “profitable”.

This is the context that gave rise to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Last update: 2017-03-17 3:08:23 PM