An African-European Research about Arts and Development
Edited By Wolfgang Schneider and Daniel Gad
Rules of Good Participatory Governance in the Allocation of Public Funds to Artists and Cultural Organisations.A Practical Guide
Charles Vallerand and Azadeh Lessard
The diversity of cultural expressions is a fundamental democratic principle. The right to self-expression and representation through the mediation of arts and culture. The right to access the full diversity of cultural expressions. Cultural expressions have symbolic as well as economic value and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions recognizes the distinctive nature of cultural goods and services. However, they are also of high political importance in the national discourse. The high level of excitement that led to the adoption of the Convention in 2005 is now far behind us. The time has come to hold Parties accountable and ensure that the instrument is fully implemented. Otherwise, it will never reach its complete legitimacy in international law.
The Convention does not speak specifically of participatory governance. Article 11 – Participation of civil society commits Parties to “acknowledge the fundamental role of civil society in protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions. Parties shall encourage the active participation of civil society in their efforts to achieve the objectives of this Convention” (UNESCO 2005: Art. 11). The two existing programmes that assist developing country Parties implement the Convention – the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) and the Expert Facility – closely involve civil society. The Expert Facility to Strengthen the System of Governance for Culture at the national and/or local level, funded by the European Union, requires applicants to “ensure significant civil society Engagement” (UNESCO...
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