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Archived - Convention on cultural diversity is adopted at UNESCO General Conference

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Ottawa, October 20, 2005 -- Today, UNESCO member countries adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at the 33rd UNESCO General Conference in Paris."This is a great day for the cultural community," said Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla. "With this Convention in place, the international community will be able to take full advantage of the treasure of our diverse cultures and identities for generations to come."This successful outcome is the fruit of Canada's international leadership and the productive partnerships it has built over the years with countries in the International Network on Cultural Policy, the Francophonie, and the Organization of American States. Canada is grateful for the hard work of its partner countries that have been advocating the need for this Convention."I would like to acknowledge the cooperation of the provinces and territories throughout this process, and especially the Government of Quebec's important contribution and its productive collaboration," added Minister Frulla. "I would also like to underscore the role of civil society to advance this file, at home and abroad."Canada's rich diversity, its two official languages, and its Aboriginal heritage, which are key to the country's common identity, have nurtured numerous and varied cultural expressions that give meaning to what it means to be Canadian."This is why Canada will move quickly to ratify the Convention and will continue to play a leadership role to ensure that the Convention is ratified by the largest possible number of UNESCO Member States as soon as possible," concluded the Minister.The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions recognizes the dual nature of cultural goods and services, which have both an economic and social value. It emphasizes the right of states to take measures in support of diverse cultural expressions. It will be on an equal footing with other international treaties. The Convention will require ratification by 30 UNESCO Member States to come into force.Information: Jean-François Del TorchioPress SecretaryOffice of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women(819) 997-7788 Jean-Guy BeaupréChief, Media RelationsCanadian Heritage(819) 997-9314

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