Cablegate: New Zealand's Views On Unesco Cultural Diversity
UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000784
STATE FOR IO/T-JANE COWLEY AND EAP/ANP-THOMAS RAMSEY
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: SCUL ETRD NZ UNESCO
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND'S VIEWS ON UNESCO CULTURAL DIVERSITY
REF: STATE 193533
1. Seeking New Zealand's support for U.S. positions on a
UNESCO convention on cultural diversity, post on September
10 delivered the reftel demarche to Jane Kominik of the
Ministry of Culture and Heritage and to Charlotte Frater of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's United Nations
and Commonwealth Division.
2. Kominik, who will lead New Zealand's delegation to the
UNESCO intergovernmental meeting September 20-25 in Paris,
reported September 13 that her government agrees with the
basic premise of the draft convention produced by UNESCO.
She emphasized, nonetheless, that her government has a
number of concerns about the convention in its current form,
in particular its potential impact on New Zealand's existing
obligations under trade agreements and other international
treaties. Kominik said Option B of Article 19 would be the
only version that her government could entertain, because it
might allow New Zealand both to comply with the convention
and to meet its trade, human rights, intellectual property
rights and other international treaty obligations.
Otherwise, New Zealand could not comply with the convention
as currently drafted.
3. Kominik noted that her government also found the draft's
definitions to be extraordinarily broad and imprecise, in
view of the document's being legally binding. The
bureaucracy envisioned by the convention should be
streamlined, including the elimination of a Cultural
Diversity Observatory (whose proposed functions are
performed by the Secretariat).
4. She said that New Zealand's Minister of Culture is keen
to promote cultural diversity and that the delegation would
attend the intergovernmental meeting in a constructive mood.
It would aim to work through the text to make it one that
the delegation could accept.
5. Besides Kominik, the New Zealand delegation's other
members will be Shannon Ward, legal adviser in the Ministry
of Foreign and Affairs and Trade's Legal Division, and New
Zealand's permanent representative to UNESCO, Linda Te Puni,
when she is available.