Wednesday, October 19, 2005

we have a plan

Jon Henley in Paris reports in the Guardian UK (full story click above) today that UNESCO is doing someting to protect culture! This is exciting news!

" A commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation late on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the text and the body's general assembly, meeting in Paris, is expected to follow suit tomorrow.

The US, supported only by Israel, filed 27 amendments in an unsuccessful bid to water down the resolution, criticising it as "flawed", "ambiguous" and "protectionist". France, which has long defended its right to a "cultural exception", could barely conceal its delight. "We are no longer the black sheep on this issue," said the culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, adding that the text was "a clear recognition" that cultural goods such as film, TV programmes and music are not "merchandise like any other" and should be treated separately in world trade talks.

Even Britain has abandoned its traditional allies in Washington by backing the majority line on the 40-page convention. This states that cultural goods and services have a "distinctive nature" and that states have a right "to maintain, adopt, and implement policies and measures they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on their territory"."

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