Art.21 - Consulta Internacional

Article 21 on international consultation

Under Article 21 of the Convention (International consultation and coordination), Parties undertake to promote the objectives and principles of the Convention in other international forums. Thus, Parties consult each other on this matter as appropriate, enabling them to assert the objectives of the Convention in existing or new international agreements.

The Conference of Parties, at its 3rd session in 2011, decided to carry out an inventory of experiences and practices related to this promotion, requesting that the Secretariat compile an annual compendium of cases wherein the Convention is invoked or utilized in other international forums.

For the collection of information, the follow activities were carried out:

  • 3 consultations since 2011 in which 54 Parties participated, representing 40% of Parties;
  • Analysis of 71 quadrennial reports submitted since 2012;
  • Research and analyses conducted that provided additional information.

The Parties have a very broad understanding of the definition of an international forum, sometimes comprising fora that are not solely dedicated to cultural matters. Parties use and cite the Convention to, for exemple :

  • Intervene in international forums, whether or not they advance cultural objectives;
  • Strongly affirm the objectives and principles of the Convention in cultural and trade agreements (whether they be bilateral, regional, or multilateral);
  • Consult other Parties when signing new bilateral agreements that address the objectives and principles of the Convention;
  • Engage in dialogue with States not party to the Convention in order to encourage ratification;
  • Pursue advocacy activities arguing for the inclusion of culture in development agendas.

In order to exchange information and share knowledge, the Secretariat:

  • Created an online platform, in November 2012, which gathers documents directly linked to the application of Article 21 and is regularly updated;
  • Studied the state of the issue in bilateral and regional trade agreements, see study and case studies (available soon); 
  • Presented six reports to the Governing Bodies of the Convention since 2011

Related documents and events

The consultations help to identify documents and events that make specific reference to the objectives and principles of the Convention. The information collected is then made available for consultation and enables the update of the database on the promotion of the Convention in international fora.

The next consultation will take place in 2016.

Consolidating the inventory 

Parties are invited and encouraged to share experiences and practices, by regularly submitting relevant documents and information on events to the Secretariat. Other stakeholders (international organisations, civil society, etc.) are equally invited to participate in this information collection effort.

More information:

  • Concept note: Preferential treatment, international coordination and consultation
  • Working documents:
    • Preferential treatment and international consultation and coordination: report on Articles 16 and 21 of the Convention. Document CE/15/5.CP/11
    • Preferential treatment, International consultation and coordination (Articles 16 and 21 of the Convention): status of consultations, sharing of knowledge and good practices. Document CE/15/9.IGC/8
    • Preferential treatment and International consultation and coordination: report on the implementation and impact of Articles 16 and 21 of the Convention. Document CE/14/8.IGC/11
  • Summary record of the debates of the Governing Bodies:
    • Adoption of the detailed summary record of the seventh ordinary session of the Committee. Document CE/14/8.IGC/3, para. 247 to 282
    • Adoption of the detailed summary record of the eighth ordinary session of the Committee. Document CE/15/9.IGC/3, para. 279 to 304
  • Summary record of the exchange session, 9 June 2015. Preferential treatment, international coordination and consultation. Document CE/15/9.IGC/INF.6b

Further reading:

  • I. Bernier, “The Relationship Between the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Other International Instruments: The Emergence of a New Balance in the Interface Between Commerce and Culture”, August 2009, pp. 17-23. Available at:
  • P.T. Stoll, “Article 21: International Consultation and Coordination”, in S. von Schorlemer, P-T Stoll (ed.), The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Explanatory Notes, Springer, 2012, pp. 545-551