Tuesday, April 7 2020


Linguistic, cultural diversity to drive innovation

Update: November, 27/2015 - 14:34

Eric-Normand Thibeault, regional representative of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, speaks at the symposium. — Photo Van Anh

HA NOI (VNS) – People and nations should make linguistic and cultural diversity, and differences between humans, a driver of tolerance, respect and values to face challenges, experts at a symposium said yesterday.

The symposium, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, was organised by the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), UNESCO, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The convention was adopted in 2005 by UNESCO. Members of the OIF tried hard to adopt this convention.

Eric-Normand Thibeault, OIF's regional representative said that OIF has had a strong commitment and involvement in the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. La Francophonie (French-speaking community) constitutes a space representing not only a unified language, but also a set of values on human dignity, human rights, and equality among men and women.

Ten years after the adoption of the convention, it has faced some challenges related to its effective implementation, its fragility in matters of settlement of disputes, and the defence of linguistic diversity, and intellectual property compared to the signed bilateral treaties.

"The 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural expressions is a legally binding international agreement that ensures that creativity is promoted to the fullest extent possible. The convention is a tool that ensures that cultural professionals can produce a broad range of cultural goods and services for humanity to enjoy and enhance their well-being, too. It is not only about the commercial value of these goods and services, but the value they have for human development," Katherine Muller-Marin, UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam said.

She added that the convention was a powerful tool to work towards this end.

"Every culture provides a key to understanding the world. None can be lost. It would be a mistake to think that uniformity makes understanding easier: it simply masks differences. Education, science, culture and communications are pillars in the construction of a united human community and the foundations of sustainable development," she said.  

Viet Nam ratified the Convention in 2007. Its annual organisation of Hue Festival since 2000 has proved its active contribution to the promotion of cultural diversity.  

The recent emergence of creative entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary practices and networks of practitioners has breathed life into the domestic market and is creating new momentum for cultural industries in Viet Nam.

With the support of UNESCO, Viet Nam has drafted the first ever national strategy for the development of cultural industries, with a vision for Viet Nam to be a major centre and market leader for cultural industries in Southeast Asia and a globally-recognised creative economy. The specific objectives of the strategy include making cultural industries a major source of jobs and inspiring a new generation of cultural producers and consumers. 

Katherine Muller-Marin said that UNESCO will continue to support Viet Nam through the new memorandum of understanding between UNESCO and Viet Nam for the period 2016 to 2020 which will be signed in Paris by the UNESCO director-general and a Vietnamese delegation on December 1. — VNS


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