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INCD DECLARATION (article first published : 2002-10-24)

In October, the International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) concluded three days of meetings at the Centre for the Book. 186 delegates from 37 countries organized their discussions around the theme Fostering Cultural Diversity and Development: local, national and global strategies.

The INCD conference focused on both the inter-relatedness of cultural diversity and sustainable development as well as the draft Convention on Cultural Diversity, a global initiative to implement a treaty that would provide a permanent legal foundation for government measures that support cultural diversity. This text seeks to counter the destructive effects of globalization and trade liberalization on cultural diversity.

On behalf of their communities, delegates committed themselves to advocate for policies that will ensure development projects did not imperil cultural expression or cultural exchange.

The Convention stated that it could “ensure a space for domestic artistic creations but it cannot guarantee every country will have the capability to occupy that space. It cannot guarantee that every artist and cultural producer will be able to work and create, to interact with their community. All of the world's citizens are impoverished when they are denied the opportunity to experience the full richness of the diversity of all communities.”

The INCD is committed to advocating for appropriate tools, policies and programs to ensure the development of cultural capacity. The INCD will lobby locally, nationally and globally to ensure that every community has the capacity to develop the individuals, companies and institutions - both public and private - that it needs to give itself voice through music, audiovisual, stories and the arts.

The INCD elected an International Steering Committee with new members coming from South Africa, Senegal, Brazil and the Philippines. Well-known arts activist Mike van Graan will represent South Africa.

The Committee was mandated to prepare a new governance structure, as the Network will move towards greater regional involvement, including plans for regional meetings and working groups on specific topics related to both the Convention on Cultural Diversity and the role of culture in development. Over the coming months they will also implement a new multi-pronged communications strategy.

The INCD thanks the host country, South Africa, as well as the governments of Canada, Sweden, Mexico and Croatia, for their generous support. Thanks are also given to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Prince Claus Fund and the ILO. The INCD will meet in 2003 in Croatia.

More information from Buz Publicity on 011 673-4995 or 083 263-6991 or e-mail: bridget@buz.co.za




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