All bromides are banal, but not all banalities are harmless. The convention on diversity is an attempt to legitimize cultural protectionism, and to cloak it in Orwellian rhetoric praising what the convention actually imperils -- the autonomy of culture left free to flower and evolve without the supervision of governments.Organized by France and Canada, UNESCO Diversity, was approved last year by 148 of 154 members of the U. N. educational, scientific and cultural organization, much to the objection by the US (with Israel)...And 4 countries of whom abstained...
With 30 ratifications needed and soon to be formally submit; Denmark, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, Austria, Lithuania, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Finland, Spain, Slovakia, as well as the European Union, agree and hold interest in, and to affirm the sovereign right of nations to “protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.”
By elsewhere defining cultural goods and services as crucially unlike goods and services that are "solely" economic, the convention implicitly establishes that cultural protectionism is not inhibited by standard free-trade agreements. And, worse, it leaves latitude for individual nations to declare some goods -- wine, coffee, textiles -- as cultural "expressions," hence eligible for protectionist measures.
Hollywood films earn 65 percent of the French box office -- and 90 percent in the rest of Europe. Canada has fretted about Canadians reading U.S. magazines that absorb Canadian advertising dollars. China and many African and Latin American countries think as France does. But Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela are exporters of soap operas...read more!
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