The Global Alliance for Cultural
Sustaining diversity through cultural goods and
The Global Alliance for Cultural
Diversity (See Culturelink Special
Issue 2001 Convergence, Creative Industries
and Civil Society: The New Cultural Policy and the text 'Towards
a Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity' by Guiomar Alonso
Cano (pp. 69-73).), a UNESCO partnership initiative (2002-2007),
aims to create new opportunities for cultural diversity and expression
and pluralism of ideas, to strengthen local cultural industries,
to contribute to the elimination of poverty, ensure sustainable
socio-economic development, and encourage the respect for international
copyright regulations. It also calls for promoting more effective
mechanisms for the prevention of piracy, building local capacity
to increase competitive participation in domestic and international
markets, increasing availability of diverse affordable cultural
products worldwide, and establishing new modalities for international
cooperation based on solidarity and the win-win principle.
The Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity looks to
provide new opportunities for cultural stakeholders to combine efforts
towards ensuring a more diversified and equitable array of cultural
goods and services worldwide. The Global Alliance will build on
two strategic pillars: the development of local cultural industries
and the prevention of piracy. Activities in these areas will be
supported through newly established partnerships and UNESCO's special
extra-budgetary fund. The Global Alliance will operate in collaboration
with other international and UN bodies. As indicated in UNESCO's
Medium-Term Strategy (2002-2007), it will be re-examined and evaluated
according to results and adjusted as needed, without calling into
question its principles.
Cultural industries, based on books, magazines, newspapers,
CDs, records, cassettes, films, video, crafts and design, are key
components of today's world markets and domestic economies. Globalization
and recent technological developments, including e-commerce, offer
societies unprecedented opportunities to expand their cultural industries
with cheaper and faster production/ distribution systems as well
as larger audiences.
And yet, globalization is not benefiting all equally,
as the growing digital divide demonstrates. While creative diversity
as expressed through cultural industries can be a strong contributor
to sustainable development, current trends such as technological
convergence, freer movement of goods, services and capital, as well
as market mergers and acquisitions, often jeopardize potential growth,
particularly in developing countries and those in transition. Cultural
industries are increasingly concentrated amongst the few players
who have advanced technical capacities for producing and distributing
creative products. New technologies have also made piracy of cultural
products easier and faster. While weak copyright legislation and
enforcement force local industries to struggle against cheaper pirated
products, cultural sector stakeholders from all countries suffer
consequent losses of profits, jobs, revenue and investment.
Involving the private sector and civil society in
the realization of development projects emanating from the political
will of States and other public bodies is a key concern of many
international institutions, particularly those within the UN system.
Cultural industries must integrate this collaborative approach.
Given its long-term experience with the culture sector, it is important
that UNESCO be an active player in this domain.
How does the Global Alliance work?
Strengthening local cultural industries through
The Global Alliance will promote bilateral and multilateral
North/South partnerships amongst businesses, governments, civil
society organizations and intergovernmental bodies to develop local
cultural industries capable of competing in today's global markets.
It will draw on increasing private sector commitment to projects
that are sustainable and that correspond with the public sector's
need for innovative development strategies and civil society's demands
for creative diversity.
UNESCO will facilitate the establishment of partnerships
that offer solutions for the many challenges related to the creation,
production and distribution of diverse cultural goods and services,
- Providing technical expertise, resources and training, particularly
in business-related fields such as marketing, finance, sales,
and copyright management;
- Increasing awareness of available or potential local and international
opportunities for business development;
- Enhancing cooperation amongst public and private sectors in
areas relating to culture;
- Broadening capacity for cultural enterprise development, entrepreneurship,
long-term planning and investment in research and development.
... and through the prevention of piracy...
Local artists and cultural industries are confronted
with unfair competition from low-priced pirated works. Although
piracy may be viewed by some as a means of making culture accessible
to all, failure to address piracy is detrimental to a country's
economic, cultural and social development in the long-term. For
this reason, the Global Alliance will assist governments in developing,
updating and/or enforcing copyright legislation.
...using a dedicated fund.
UNESCO will reinforce partnership agreements through
a dedicated fund that will address the potential needs of participating
developing countries and countries in transition. This fund will
finance the development of policies and regulatory frameworks necessary
for domestic cultural industries to benefit and build on partnership
agreements. Sector analyses, design of tax reduction programmes
and fiscal incentives, development of regulatory mechanisms and
copyright enforcement training for judges, lawyers and customs officers
will be some of the activities supported by the fund. Particular
focus will be placed on the revision and updating of legislation
pertaining to targeted cultural industry sectors as well as to copyright.
How can you become a partner in the Global Alliance?
Whether you represent a government or intergovernmental
body, a corporation, a small- or medium-size cultural enterprise,
a foundation, an NGO, or a non-profit organization, you may participate
in the Global Alliance in different ways.
Send UNESCO your proposal for a partnership
Your proposal should include a description of how
your interests fit the objectives of the Global Alliance and what
services and resources you would like to offer or receive. UNESCO
asks you to be as specific as possible about your expertise and
your proposed area of activity. In reviewing your proposal, UNESCO
will connect you with current partnerships or match you with potential
new partners with similar interests.
Become a sponsor
UNESCO will seek donations for the special fund to
shoulder Global Alliance partnerships in developing countries and
countries in transition. Your financial contribution will support
policies and programmes that strengthen local cultural industries
while reinforcing piracy prevention mechanisms and respect for international
To obtain information, submit proposals or
make a financial contribution, please contact: The Global Alliance
for Cultural Diversity, UNESCO Division of Arts and Cultural Enterprise,
1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France; tel.: 33 (0)1 45 68
43 05; fax: 33 (0)1 45 68 55 95; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;