Culture ministerial conference opens in Cotonou

Cotonou- Benin (PANA) -- The third conference of French- speaking ministers of culture is underway in Cotonou with participants from some 55 countries discussing cultural diversity within the Francophonie.
The conference is seeking approaches to protecting cultural diversity in within the new dispensation of globalisation, while also seeking to beef up cultural cooperation among Francophone member countries.
The ministers are validating the Cotonou Declaration and Plan of Action relative to the institution of language policies aimed at fostering the development of the French language and partner languages.
Equally targeted are improved international market access for French-speaking artists and craftsmen, and the development of cultural industries, information technologies and the audio- visual media.
At the opening of the conference, Francophonie Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali observed that cultural diversity and dialogue are confronted with the stakes of development, democracy and peace both within and between states.
He also argued that it was pointless proclaiming the equality of cultures as a fundamental right contained in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, when in actual fact existing inequalities were glaring.
"Our duty as a French-speaking community is not only to resist linguistic, cultural and conceptual uniformity but to also readjust cultural relations within our space," Boutros Ghali pointed out.

15 june 2001 19:37:00




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