Delegation and members present on site
February 7th to 10th – UNESCO, Paris
At this first face-to-face Intergovernmental Committee since the last one in 2020, the Federation was represented by President Beat Santschi, Vice-President Africa Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo, Vice-President Americas Alejandra Diaz Lanz, and the President of the Malian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, Mohamed Diakité. Several European members were also present, as well as the secretary general of the IFCCD, Marie-Julie Desrochers.
Finally, it should be noted that the proceedings were not offered in hybrid format. However, a live webcast via YouTube was available.
Participation of the IFCCD in a meeting between the Secretariat and civil society
On February 7, Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, Secretary of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, participated in a two-hour meeting with civil society representatives in attendance. During this meeting, the organizations present particularly emphasized the importance of re-establishing a virtual component to the work related to the Convention, especially with regard to the Civil Society Forum. The Secretariat explained that the hybrid mode poses challenges related to the different time zones of the participants, as it would be impossible to have as long working day virtually as in person. Nonetheless, a clear consensus emerged from NGOs that the forum should allow for virtual participation.
The President of the Malian Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Mohamed Diakité, recalled the importance of the 2005 Convention for the IFCCD and the extent of the work done by the coalitions in this framework. He also proposed an intervention in connection with the IFCD, asking in particular that the role of civil society be maximized in the selection process.
IFCCD interventions in the agenda
The Federation made contributions to two agenda items, 8 and 9.
Item 8 invited comments on two options proposed to include more micro, small and medium enterprises in the work of the Secretariat. The Federation recalled, as it has done in the past, that it already adequately represents this component of civil society and was open to working with the Secretariat to connect it with its members as needed.
Item 9 presented three options to further engage cultural organizations and institutions. The Federation, noting that the three options proposed were likely to require a significant level of human and financial resources from the Secretariat or the National Commissions, asked that more information, particularly in relation to the financial implications of each of the proposals, be shared to allow for a better analysis.
Interventions co-signed by the IFCCD in response to the request to remove a civil society organization from the proceedings
Following the intervention of a State that requested that a civil society organization be expelled from this 16th session of the IGC on the basis of accusations that were not supported by evidences, more than 30 organizations present signed a statement urging the Parties to resolve this situation without creating precedents that limit or impose new conditions on NGOs. This statement was read on February 8, 2023 by Federation President Beat Santschi.
On February 9, the Parties adopted a decision that was denounced by the same organizations. After a panel was boycotted by the civil society representatives who were to participate, civil society organizations that were present delivered a new statement in which it denounced a worrying and dangerous precedent that could open the door to a right of control, or even a right of veto, by the Parties as to the organizations authorized to participate in the work.
Following these strong gestures, several Parties supported civil society and asked the Secretariat to invite the organizations present to return to the work in order to begin a search for a solution, which was accepted. A statement was again read on behalf of all the groups present.
Participation of the secretary general in a conference on the theme of Equitable Culture organized by the German Commission of UNESCO
On February 9, at the invitation of the German Commission of the UNESC0, IFCCD Secretary General Marie-Julie Desrochers participated in a discussion on the theme of Fair culture. This event was a follow-up to an activity held in September at Mondiacult during which Véronique Guèvremont, UNESCO Chair on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, presented the study Fair culture: A key to sustainable development, in which she recommended the development of a charter for fair culture.
During the event held at the Intergovernmental Committee, the Federation reiterated its commitment to support this project, which it sees as a promising way to complement existing tools, particularly those of UNESCO, to achieve equity and sustainable development objectives. She also took the opportunity to announce that the African Coalitions, which are planning a meeting from March 14 to 16, 2023 in Niamey, Niger, will hold a discussion on the subject.
The event began with a word of introduction by Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, the Secretary of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and an address by the Deputy Secretary General of the German Commission for UNESCO, Lutz Möller. Finally, the young expert of the Fair Culture Project Andrés Munoz Carcamo and the deputy director of the Kenyan Commission of the UNESC0, Emily Njeru, also delivered contributions on the subject.