3 October 2007
The Republic of Tajikistan announced on 22 September 2007 the ratification of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The ratification was done by the parliament of Tajikistan on 28 June 2007. The instruments of ratification will be soon deposited with the Director-General of UNESCO.The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference on 20 October 2005. It entered into force on 18 March 2007.
The text of the convention seeks to reaffirm the links between culture, development and dialogue, and to create an innovative platform for international cultural cooperation. It reaffirms the sovereign rights of States to elaborate cultural policies with a view both “to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions” and “to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner” (Article 1).
The Convention also consecrates the role of culture as an actor in development (Article 13), mobilizes civil society to achieve its goals (article 11), and places international solidarity at the heart of its mechanism (articles 12 to 19), by including the creation of an international fund for cultural diversity (article 18).
It highlights “the importance of intellectual property rights in sustaining those involved in cultural creativity” and reaffirms that “freedom of thought, expression and information, as well as diversity of the media, enable cultural expressions to flourish within societies.”
With the adoption of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, UNESCO now disposes of a comprehensive set of standard-setting instruments in the cultural domain. These comprise seven conventions covering cultural diversity in all of its manifestations, and especially, the two pillars of culture: immovable, movable and intangible heritage and contemporary creativity.
Three conventions – the 1972 World Heritage Convention; the 2003 convention on intangible cultural heritage; and the 2005 convention on cultural diversity – will provide a particularly favorable framework for UNESCO’s action in defense of cultural diversity.
With this extensive legal coverage, UNESCO is now better equipped to accomplish the mission attributed by its Constitution to respect the “fruitful diversity of the cultures” and to “facilitate the free flow of ideas by word and image.”