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Convention on Cultural Diversity

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Abstract

In the Fall of 2003, UNESCO will consider the introduction of an international agreement on cultural diversity. Proponents of this convention view the commitments made by countries in trade agreements as weakening the ability of countries to pursue domestic policies to preserve and promote cultural diversity. We review the existing draft wording for a convention and conclude that it fails to meet the necessary conditions for an enforceable rules-based international agreement. Countries are given rights to introduce policies that promote cultural diversity but have no clear obligations. What constitutes cultural diversity is self-defined by each member country. When there is a clash between countries in the exercise of rights, no effective dispute resolution mechanism has been set out. No procedure is outlined to determine how commitments made in other trade agreements, such as the WTO affecting cultural goods and services, will be managed. The requirements for developing an effective dispute resolution mechanism are absent. In our view, a sectoral agreement within the WTO is a more promising route to follow.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 03-05.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 21 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:03-05

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Keywords: International governance; cultural activities and industries; cultural diversity;

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  1. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Françoise Benhamou & Stéphanie Peltier, 2007. "How should cultural diversity be measured? An application using the French publishing industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 85-107, June.
  2. Lelio Iapadre, 2004. "Comment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 267-273, November.
  3. Frederick Ploeg, 2004. "Comment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 257-261, November.
  4. Cecile Aubert & Pranab K. Bardhan & Jeff Dayton-Johnson, 2004. "Artfilms, Handicrafts and Other Cultural Goods: The Case for Subsidy," Public Economics, EconWPA 0407001, EconWPA.

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