Last week, the first working session of a reflection group made up of 18 international experts was held in Quebec City. The group has been mandated by UNESCO to produce recommendations aimed at protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment. On this occasion, the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), which represents more than 30 national coalitions around the world, was a partner in a rich day of conferences, alongside the proceedings, entitled Promoting Our Cultures in the Digital Age. The event was organized by the Canadian Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE). Speakers from the cultural, academic and legal worlds took the floor in the presence of the 18 experts, UNESCO senior executives and several ministers from Canada and Quebec.

At the end of this rich day, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions published a preliminary list of recommendations arising from the discussions of the twenty or so speakers who took the floor on the four themes studied by the reflection group:

  • Promoting the linguistic diversity of cultural content;
  • The discoverability of national and local cultural content on digital platforms;
  • The importance of increased and meaningful transparency on digital platforms around cultural issues, particularly artistic freedom;
  • The impact of artificial intelligence on the cultural and creative industries.

The IFCCD supports the CDCE’s recommendations. With a second meeting of the panel scheduled for this fall, it intends to continue stimulating dialogue between the panel and civil society.

The IFCCD, in conjunction with the CDCE, will publish a detailed report by autumn, presenting the elements of the conference day and its recommendations.


“We commend the Canadian coalition for holding an event rich in content, highlighting the essential contribution of international civil society to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. A renewed reflection on the 2005 Convention in relation to the digital environment is necessary, and we look forward to the experts’ recommendations!” said Guillaume Prieur, President of the IFCCD and Coordinator of the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity.

“We welcome the themes targeted by the Parties, which resonate strongly in the Africa Zone. The Coalitions are particularly active around issues of discoverability, and, as we saw at the Conference presented in Montreal, innovative projects in artificial intelligence are already emerging to ensure the revitalization of minority African languages. The issue of the digital divide, which affects all regions but is particularly marked in the Africa Zone, must be at the heart of the experts’ discussions,” said Mahamadou Adamou, Vice-President for Africa at IFCCD.

“Cultural rights and artistic freedom are currently greatly threatened in some Latin American countries. The 2005 Convention is a valuable tool whose implementation must be accelerated. The issues surrounding the digital environment are crucial, and we hope to rely on strong and concrete recommendations that can have real effects in the short term,” said Alejandra Diaz, Vice-President for the Americas at IFCCD.

“The participation of Claire Pullen, Executive Director of the Australian Writers’ Guild Authorship Collecting Society, at the May 27th conference brilliantly illustrated the convergent nature of the challenges posed by the digital environment in different regions of the world. A dialogue between civil society and international policymakers is essential!” said Rowan Woods, Vice-President for Asia-Pacific at IFCCD.

Additional Information

  • The conference day on May 27 was organized by the CDCE, in partnership with the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, with support from Canada and the government of Quebec.
  • For more information about the group of experts, consult the UNESCO report
  • For more information about the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, consult this IFCCD article.
  • Here’s an article written by IFCCD Secretary General, Marie-Julie Desrochers, for the United Nations magazine, UN Chronicle.

    The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity welcomes the presence of UNESCO’s Reflection Group on the digital at a day devoted to civil society

    Press Release
    6 June 2024