UNESCO Meeting Seeks Ways to Open Markets for Cultural Goods from Global South



Release Date

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Paris, 28 May – Experts, stakeholders and government representatives will examine ways to improve exports of cultural products from the Global South, reinforce cultural entrepreneurship and improve the status of artists during the biennial meeting of the signatories to UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, at the Organization’s Headquarters from 5 to 7 June.

Government officials and cultural professionals will address these and other issues at three Create|2030 debates during the session:

Rebalancing trade flows: making the case for preferential treatment in culture, will examine ways to open markets to cultural goods and services from the Global South, in line with the Convention’s binding provision to grant them preferential treatment in international trade.  Cultural goods and services from developing countries currently only account for 26.5% of the global trade in this rapidly growing sector. Panelists will also examine how the concentration of creative content on large online platforms is impacting the distribution of cultural products and expressions. (7 June, 10 am—1 pm, Room II)

Strengthening cultural entrepreneurship: The International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD)will discuss investments in vocational training and bring together beneficiaries of UNESCO’s IFCDfrom Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia and Senegal. The Fund, which aims to address the gap between developed and developing countries in the creative economy, has provided more than 10,000 artists and cultural professionals with new skills in project management, business and career development to date. (6 June, 10 am—1 pm, Room II)

Rethinking the status of the artist will explore ways to enhance the professional, social and economic conditions of artists through policies concerning training, social security, employment, income, taxation, mobility and freedom of expression. (6 June, 2—5 pm, Room II)

During the meeting, participants will also examine an Open Roadmap designed to strengthen the Parties’ capacities to promote the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital age, as well as other innovative policy practices. Priorities in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be set for the next two years, with particular attention to gender equality, fundamental freedoms, quality education, economic growth, decent jobs, and equality between countries.

The 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions provides a framework for the design of policies and measures that support the emergence of dynamic cultural and creative industries around the world. The 146 Parties (145 States and the European Union) that have ratified the Convention meet at UNESCO every two years to examine its impact and determine future action. Twelve new Members will be elected to the Convention’s Intergovernmental Committee during the session.

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