UNESCO World Report: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue
This World Report aims to become a reference tool for cultural diversity. Cultural diversity, which is too often reduced to the protection of heritage in danger, is also the development of intercultural skills, the search for an antidote to expressions of cultural isolationism, the road towards new forms of governance, the lever of the effective exercise of universally recognized human rights and a means to reduce imbalances in the world trade in creative products.
Media and cultural industries represent more than 7 % of global GDP and represent approximately US$1.3 trillion, i.e. approximately twice the level of receipts from international tourism, estimated at US$680 billion. Africa’s share in the global trade in creative products remains marginal – at less than 1 % of worldwide exports – despite its abundance of creative talent. In order to improve this situation, it is urgent to invest in cultural diversity and dialogue, the Report insists.
Culture was the great forgotten issue among the Millennium Development Goals’, deplored Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO’s Director-General, adding that ‘it has become urgent in our world, which is confronted to cultural changes of all sorts, to learn how to manage change and ensure that it does not becomes a source of greater vulnerability for those who are badly prepared to face it." This is clearly the meaning of the ten recommendations drawn by the Report about ways to invest in cultural diversity. The Report especially suggests creating a ‘World Observatory on Cultural Diversity, to monitor the impacts of globalization’, setting up a "national mechanism for monitoring public policies as they relate to cultural diversity," and implementing "national language policies with a view to both safeguarding linguistic diversity and promoting multilingual competencies."
The Report also puts forward new strategies to facilitate intercultural dialogue, improve the relevance of educational contents, overcome stereotypes in the media and facilitate the exchange of artistic productions and the circulation of artists. Aimed at the academic world as well as the general public, this Report develops a new vision of cultural diversity, which stresses its dynamic nature and the need to combat the development of cultural illiteracy, which is promoted by the acceleration of social transformations.
Full report [English]