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Cablegate: Usunesco: Cultural Diversity Convention:

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

301240Z Nov 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Paris 7915

1. The Canadian mission officially notified the UNESCO
Director General 23 November that Canada had accepted
(ratified) the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity,
recently adopted by the biennial UNESCO General
Conference at its October 2005 meeting. It also
registered its acceptance with the UNESCO Legal Office
on 28 November.

2. UNESCO Canadian Mission Political Assistant
Dominique Levasseur told poloff 28 November that the
Canadian political system requires only Cabinet action
to "accept" international conventions. Parliamentary
action was not necessary, she said, and had not been
taken in this particular case. She also noted that
Article 29 of the Convention on Cultural diversity
provided for entry into force after deposit of the
thirtieth instrument of "ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession" and that Canada's "acceptance"
instrument would be the first to be deposited in

3. The 23 November statement of the Canadian
Department of Cultural Heritage explains the Canadian
view and says, in part:

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"Early acceptance by Canada of this Convention,
confirms our strong leadership and commitment to the
protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural
expressions," said Minister of Canadian Heritage and
Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla.
"I want to thank representatives of provincial and
territorial governments, the arts and cultural
community, and other Canadians on the hard work they
have done since 1998 to help develop and build
international support for this Convention. Every
culture must have the means to promote its ideas, its
values, its perspectives on the world, and its hopes.
The Convention will allow us to do that."

4. The Canadian acceptance of the Cultural Diversity
Convention comes even before the absolutely last final
text is available. The UNESCO web site text of the
convention (http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-
warns that this is only an advance copy of the
Convention which has not gone through the standard
editing and language reconciliation procedure. A
UNESCO staffer told poloff that Canada's acceptance was
a bit premature, but noted that Canadian support for
the Convention across the political spectrum was rock-
solid and speculated that any new Canadian government
would likely jump at the opportunity to score points in
Canada by accepting the Convention once again.

5. Levasseur confirmed to poloff 28 Nov that Canadian
diplomatic strategy calls for obtaining quick
ratifications in capitals so that the Convention enters
into force as soon as possible. Canada is not alone.
As reported ref, French Foreign Minister Phillipe
Douste Blazy recently reaffirmed that France will
quickly ratify the Convention and will continue to urge
others to do so.

6. Steps have already been taken to execute this

--A Canadian NGO, the International Network of Culture
Professionals (INCP), which supplements Canada's
diplomatic efforts on culture matters was the official
sponsor of a recent Culture Ministers' conference in
Dakar at which a top UNESCO culture official was slated
to plump for quick ratification of the Convention. A
political lobbying group that is funded by the Canadian
government, the International Network for Cultural
Diversity (INCD), whose strident voices had been heard
in support of the Cultural Diversity Convention
throughout the negotiations, announced on its web site
(http://www.incd.net/resources.html) that its own
annual meeting would be held in Dakar in the same time
frame, which would allow INCD members to lobby culture
ministers attending the other, more official ministers'
meeting and that the conclusions of its INCD meeting
were slated for formal presentation at the ministers'


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