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24 / 08 / 2004
The french, spanish and portuguese language specialists prepare a plan of action in support of cultural diversity

French, Spanish and Portuguese language specialists are preparing in Barcelona a plan of action with a view of promoting cultural diversity. This meeting forms part of the proceedings of the session entitled "New geo-cultural areas in globalization", prior to the dialogue "Cultural Rights and Human Development", which will take place at the Forum between Tuesday 24 and Friday 27 of August.

More information about Cultural rights and human development. New multicultural spaces

Today, leaders of the international organizations representing the French, Spanish and Portuguese languages are continuing the meeting started yesterday at Forum Barcelona 2004 with the objective of establishing a plan of action to achieve "a policy of cultural pluralism with a more active dimension", indicated Abdou Diouf, Secretary- General of the International Organization of French Speakers (OIF), during the presentation of the dialogue "Cultural Rights and Human Development". The objective is to initiate a permanent forum on cultural pluralism "not to promote ghetto identities but rather an opening-up process - positive identities - with a permanent accent on cultural pluralism". This virtual forum will be "independent, without inhibitions or institutional blocks in order to allow for total freedom to develop proposals" that will be directed at political, socio-economic, professional, and cultural international organizations in order to encourage this cultural pluralism.

This is one of the ideas that the session prior to the Dialogue "Cultural Rights and Human Development," is based on, which will begin tomorrow at the Center of Conventions of the Forum Site. The previous conference, "New neocultural spaces in globalization," forms a part of the line of work of "Three Linguistic Spaces," the organization formed by French, Spanish, and Portuguese speakers." In this organization, the following cooperate: the Organization of the Iberoamerican States for Education, Science, and Culture (OEI), the International Organization of French speakers (OIF), the Community of Portuguese speaking Countries (CPLP), and the Latin Union (UL).

This permanent cultural forum is still in a phase of identification of topics "those that begin debate, give opinions, and ask for reactions," Francisco Pi˝on pointed out, secretary general of the OEI. Pi˝on added that the objective is to create "defense, respect, and affirmation of cultural diversity to preserve democratic non homogenizing forms, dialogue, and respect of the diversity of cultures."

JosÚ Tadeu Soares, assistant executive secretary of the CPLP, pointed out that "globalization is a fact and depending on how we use it, it is good or bad" and he advocated for the preservation of cultural heritage not to mean a protectionist policy, similar to or what is already carried out in industrial sectors. In this sense, Bernardino Osio, general secretary of the Latin Union stated "in this period of globalization, that is already at a point with no return, you have to prepare the instruments to save our diversity." Latin Union works in the field of learning of neolatin languages, of terminology, and in poor countries or countries in conflict, where "the first victim is culture," he added.

This permanent forum will be, together with the convention that UNESCO is discussing on cultural diversity, "two bases for encouraging diversity and cultural pluralism, with which globalization will be more comprehensive and equal. It is a difficult project, but we move forward with this idea that is vital for all humanity," the secretary general of the OIF asserted.

The dialogue "Cultural Rights and Human Development" that began this morning has an objective, in the words of Ramon Cusialls, director of the Interarts Foundation, the organizer of the event, "to contribute to the right to participate in cultural life, identify the indicators of the contribution to the culture of human development, and elaborate a plan of action," that favors "the development of a social platform in favor of culture." The director of Interarts agreed with Tadeu Soares that UNESCO┤s convention "should preserve cultural rights, but not in a protectionist way."