Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

20 October 2005 – Paris, France

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Based on human rights and fundamental freedoms, the 2005 Convention ultimately provides a new framework for informed, transparent and participatory systems of governance for culture.

Through the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the international community recognised the dual nature, both cultural and economic, of contemporary cultural expressions produced by artists. This recognition is essential, given the centrality of cultural and creative industries to inclusive economic growth, reduction of inequality and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

This #Convention was

?    Adopted by UNESCO

?    Signed by the UK

?    Passed as UK law

?    Ratified

The UK chose not to ratify the Convention or accede to the First Protocol in 1954 as it considered that it did not provide an effective protection of cultural property. The adoption of the Second Protocol in 1999, addressed these concerns and allowed the UK to announce its intention to ratify in 2004, and did so in September 2017.


“The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions affirms the political will and commitment of governments to protect and promote the widest possible range of cultural expressions as well as to promote fundamental freedoms of expression, information and communication.”

Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO


?   The #Convention summarised

The convention was adopted in order to codify that while cultural goods have an important economic value, they are not mere commodities or consumer goods that can only be regarded as objects of trade.

Worldwide, cultural and creative industries are some of the fastest growing sectors – now accounting for some 6.1% of the global economy. Through this historic agreement, the global community recognised the dual nature of contemporary cultural expressions. This allows States to maintain, adopt and implement policies to protect the diversity of cultural expression, both nationally and internationally, whilst promoting the important economic value of creative industry.

The convention aims to support the creation of national policies within States Parties to promote creation, production and access to diverse cultural goods and services and contributed to informed and participatory systems of governance for culture. Preferential treatment measures enshrined in the convention allow for a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and promote the mobility of artists and cultural professionals around the world.

It also supports international and national legislation related to both human rights and fundamental freedoms, both artistic freedom and the social and economic rights of artists.

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‘Culture has a fundamental role to play in rising to the challenges of our century. In the face of global fractures, and the paralysis of some institutional platforms, it is a common language that breaks down barriers’

Audrey Azoulay,  Director-General, UNESCO


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Discover some of the World’s artistic expressions below

Find out what organisations in the UK are doing to promote the objectives of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions


Discover the UK’s involvement with the #Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The Convention sets out recommendations which all States Parties must observe, both in relation to their own national creative industries as well as that of other States Parties. The UK meets these objectives through government policy and other organisations.


Read more about the UK National Commission’s contribution to the #Convention’s mission

The UK National Commission for UNESCO utilises our expert network to inform and advise government on issues relating to UNESCO’s mandate for the building of peace and the responsibilities of the UK in areas of international law governed by UNESCO.


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