Photo © Cyril Bailleul/Unesco
On June 5, the IFCCD took part in the 4th Civil Society Forum organized at UNESCO ahead of the 9th Conference of Parties for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Eight members of the Federation took part, including Guillaume Prieur of the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Mahamadou Adamou of the Nigerian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Alejandra Diaz of the Paraguayan Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Holly Aylett of the UK Coalition for Cultural Diversity (UKCCD), Beat Santschi of the Swiss Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo of the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Bill Skolnik of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Rowan Woods of the Australian Coalition for Cultural Diversity. This enabled the organization to be present at all sessions and to bring a concerted and representative voice to the table.
A total of 55 organizations took part in the work, which led to the drafting of recommendations on three major themes:
- Recognising culture as a global public good: implications for sustainable development and cultural rights
- Diversity of cultural expression in the digital environment: challenges and opportunities
- Cultural governance, public policies and commitments to the 2005 Convention.
In the first session, emphasis was placed on the importance of implementing many of the recommendations arising from the MONDIACULT world conference on cultural policies, at which culture was recognized as a global public good.
In the second session, civil society called for urgent action to regulate artificial intelligence in relation to culture, with a focus on human creators, artists, cultural organizations and professionals.
Finally, in the third session, the unique role of civil society in the 2005 Convention was highlighted, and several recommendations were made to improve dialogue between civil society and the Parties.
Unfortunately, during the Conference of the Parties that followed the Forum, rather than adopting civil society’s recommendations, the Parties argued that holding the Forum on the eve of the Conference of the Parties did not allow them to take proper cognizance of civil society’s recommendations. It should be noted that one of the recommendations resulting from the Forum was precisely to change the date of the event to enable the Parties to take cognizance of them before the Conference of the Parties, and thus increase the impact of civil society’s participation in the work.
The Federation, which played a coordinating role in bringing this event to fruition, intends to continue to make the voice of civil society heard in the work of the 2005 Convention.
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