The U40 Network held a thematic session on the 2005 UNESCO Convention and its application during the 8th International Conference on Cultural Policy Reaseach (9-13 Setember 2014, Hildesheim/Berlin).
The panel was composed by Heritiana Ranaivoson, Senior Researcher at iMinds-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Antonios Vlassis, Researcher at CEFIR/Université de Liège and Lecturer at Université libre de Bruxelles, Christiaan De Beukelaer, University of Leeds, Lázaro Israel Rodríguez Oliva, Independent Consultant from Cuba/Mexico/El Salvador, Véronique Guèvremont, Professor at Laval University, Québec, Canada and was chaired by Anna Steinkamp, German Commission for UNESCO and executive coordinator of the U40 Network.
The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is a complex tool to promote cultural diversity. A turning point towards a more cooperative and cross-sectorial international cultural policy, the adoption of this Convention in 2005 by a large number of countries has led to the emergence of new research needs. Moreover, stakeholders such as governments, civil society or cultural practitioners are challenged by the task of translating these broad political ideas into ground realities. Nonetheless, the Convention’s immediate and long-term objectives can only be achieved through the active involvement of all its stakeholders, including researchers. Its effective application requires new data, a combination of knowledge and research of different disciplines and sectors and thus new methodological approaches. It puts questions relative to the ambiguous relationships between culture and trade, to the role played by cultural diversity in sustainable development, and what happens to the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital age at the centre of current cultural policy debate.