“Cultural Diversity” from the Perspective of Human Rights, Media, and Trade Law: Cross-Fertilization or Conflict?

Eleni Polymenopoulou


Over the last twenty years, a number of high-level policy meetings have emphasized the significance of cultural diversity in all matters related to international cultural cooperation. Instruments negotiated both in the context of the UNESCO and other agencies of the United Nations demonstrate the pervasive interest of the international community in strategies enhancing cultural diversity. Yet the concept of diversity is a particularly broad one, entrenched on a variety of rationales for its protection, such as the promotion of human rights and democratic participation; sustainable and human development; protection of cultural industries vis-à-vis the liberalisation of audio-visual services and free trade; promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue; as well as protection of cultural rights and cultural heritage. As this article submits, the promotion of cultural diversity is a laudable cause in and of itself, and a first step towards achieving equality. Its omnipresence, however, taken in conjunction with its imprecise content and function in the cultural market (in accordance with the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Promotion of Cultural Expressions) runs the risk of downplaying its significance and effectiveness.

Słowa kluczowe: cultural diversity, human rights, media, trade law, participation

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