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Culturelink review, no.39/April 2003 - contents - imprint - archive

The Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity on the move...

UNESCO's Division of the Arts and Cultural Enterprise launched the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity in February 2002 (See Culturelink no. 37/August 2002, pp. 21-25.) with the aim of uniting partners from public, private and non-governmental sectors to work on projects that foster growth in local cultural industries, including music, publishing, cinema, multimedia and design. Copyright enforcement and piracy prevention represent the other crucial pillar of this ambitious project.

Throughout 2002 the small GACD team focused on managing three significant areas, namely communication/publicity, project development, and fundraising.

It was important initially to acquaint as many relevant governments, organisations, enterprises and individuals as possible with the Alliance. The Alliance team formulated the project's philosophy and goals and published them in flyers, brochures, folders and a website (unesco.org/culture/alliance), which are now widely circulated in several languages. An extensive mail-out and exploitation of contacts with other UN bodies meant that the Alliance succeeded in the vital first objective of recruiting a broad range of partners. It now has 140, from diverse backgrounds in the private sector, NGOs, foundations, academia, professional associations, arts management and consultancy. Many have already submitted projects for the Alliance's consideration (45 in total). Efforts to consolidate and broaden the current base of 140 partners have been pursued through regular updates and a newsletter. The team is also engaged in fundraising for the opening phase of the Alliance, succeeding to secure $175,000 to kick-start partnership projects.

Eight pilot partnership projects have already been launched (Algeria, China, Cuba, Jamaica, Lebanon, Peru, Russian Federation, and Uganda) and preparations for twelve others are under way in order to meet the target of twenty partnerships in the shortest possible time. Although they are all creative industry development projects, typologies vary - some are small people-to-people projects, others are medium institution-to-institution projects, and finally, a number of them encompass major policymaking review and update.

These pilot projects will not only benefit the local cultural industries they are intended to help, but will also enable the Alliance to manage its own transition into a more dynamic operational phase. In bringing projects to fruition, the Alliance will develop a body of 'proprietary' methodology. It will learn how to coordinate stakeholders from all aspects of cultural industries to achieve concrete results in terms of increased skills and capacity, production, distribution and export. It can then apply the 'best practice' for achieving those results to many more projects.

Alongside these specific projects, the Alliance team is making an effort to consolidate and broaden the current member partner-base through the development of a web-based 'match-making' database, built around the notion of services, competences and skills required and offered by Alliance members.

Another area where the Alliance has made progress is in the publication of the first 'Global Alliance Tools', which are designed to help members to effectively develop their cultural industry enterprises and projects. First in the series are three surveys that focus on global and regional trends in the music industry. David Throsby (Macquarie University) is the author of The Music Industry in the New Millennium: Global and Local Perspectives. Ana Marˇa Ochoa Gauthier (Tulane University) and George Yúdice (New York University), prepared a study on The Latin American Music Industry in an Era of Crisis, and Naoki Sekine one on The Music Industry in Asia. The next planned 'tool' is A Guide to the Collective Administration of Author's Rights, which is in the pipeline.

During 2004, in phase two of this initiative, efforts will be focused on expanding and increasing the range of operations. The pilot projects launched in 2003 will supply a methodology and body of 'best practice' that will be applied to new projects. The Global Alliance thus seeks a new private/public/civil society network for the realization of an increasing number of creative industry projects. The Alliance team invite you to keep this opportunity in mind and to build it into your plans for 2004.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the team at globalalliance@unesco.org should you have any questions.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unesco.org/culture/alliance

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UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

A document for the World Summit on Sustainable Development

As UNESCO's contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September 2002, the organization produced a publication that features the integral text of the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity (See Culturelink no. 35/November 2001, pp. 25-31.), the accompanying action plan, as well as the texts prepared by Professor Arjun Appadurai (Yale University, New Haven, USA) and Professor Yves Winkin (Ecole Normale Sup‚rieure, Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyon, France), which explore some of the main elements of the Declaration as well as the general meaning of cultural diversity. The introduction entitled 'Cultural Diversity: A conceptual platform' offers the analysis of some challenges that appear when discussing the indivisibility of culture and development. It also discusses the term 'sustainable diversity', as well as policy issues and plans for international cooperation. The publication further explores different aspects of cultural diversity, offering numerous examples related to the activities and programmes of˙UNESCO and other IGOs and NGOs.

For more information abut the publication or to share your ideas and concerns, UNESCO invites you to visit the following website: http://www.unesco.org/culture

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A Meeting on the Observatory on the Social Status of the Artist

The meeting, held in Paris in February 2003, was organized with the participation of the representatives of UN agencies (International Labour Office - ILO and UNESCO) and of the international non-governmental organizations active in different artistic disciplines. It examined in particular the objectives and possible structure of the Observatory to be established to monitor the evolution of the position of the various categories of artists throughout the world.

For more information, please contact: UNESCO, Paris, Division of the Arts and Cultural Entreprise, 1, rue Miollis, Paris 75015, France; e-mail: t.wagner@unesco.org

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Launching of the United Nations Literacy Decade


While societies enter an era of information and knowledge, and modern technologies develop and spread at great speed, 860 million adults are illiterate, over 100 million children have no access to school, and countless children, youth and adults who attend school or other education programmes fall short of the required level to be considered literate in today's complex world.

Literacy is about more than reading and writing - it is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices and relationships, about knowledge, language and culture. Literacy - the use of written communication - finds its place in our lives alongside other ways of communicating. Indeed, literacy itself takes many forms: on paper, on the computer screen, on TV, on posters and signs. Those who use literacy take it for granted - but those who cannot use it are excluded from much communication in today's world. Indeed, it is the excluded who can best appreciate the notion of literacy as freedom.

However, if current trends continue, and if we fail to introduce major changes in the school system, "Literacy as Freedom" will continue to be an unreachable dream for millions of people. Renewed, co-ordinated and sustained efforts must be taken in the next few years to reverse these trends and ensure that we are on the right track towards Literacy for All and thus Education for All.

This is the reason why the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the United Nations Literacy Decade for the period 2003-2012. Together, we can make a difference in this world so that everyone has access to literacy in ways that are relevant and meaningful.

For more information, please contact: http://portal.unesco.org/education/