Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
The Coalition acts as Secretariat for the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD). Founded in 2007, the IFCCD brings together coalitions and organizations from 30-some companies on every continent that mobilized to get their countries to ratify and/or implement UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Congress became a pan-African conference as well as a general meeting of the IFCCD. The Congress was about cultural policy advances at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, as well as some of the main challenges and opportunities for the implementation of policies and the role of civil society: the situation of women in the arts and culture, copyright, trade negotiations, discoverability of local expressions in the digital era, civil society participation in the development of cultural policies, the implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African Region, etc. At the IFCCD’s general meeting, the federation’s main directions were adopted, priority actions were debated, a new board of directors was elected and a number of administrative issues were addressed. The event aimed to achieve the following objectives: • Provide African stakeholders in the cultural field with a forum for analysis, forward thinking, dialogue and proposals for the development and, especially, the implementation of cultural policies. • Allow participants to learn more about UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions; the role of the main active organizations, such as the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF); the current issues for the implementation of the Convention; and certain innovations stemming from civil society. • Increase African civil society’s participation in the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions; and promote the participation of African civil society in the IFCCD, thereby contributing to better consideration of the plural reality of the diversity of cultural expressions on a global scale, as well as a better representation of the IFCCD. • Renew the IFCCD’s Board of Directors and establish the organization’s broad directions/thrusts for the 2019–2023 period. The Congress took place thanks to the support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Québec Ministère de la Culture et des Communications [Department of Culture and Communications], the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Québec Government Office in Dakar and the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
More than 85 people from 28 countries participated in the Congress and many partnerships were forged with organizations that agreed to support the event. The accumulated resources helped cover the participation fees for 33 people, including 20 from African countries. As part of the survey conducted after the event, we asked participants to evaluate how the regional conference helped them increase their knowledge of the seven topics that were addressed. The large majority of respondents replied good or excellent for all the topics. The event helped to mobilize individuals and civil society organizations that were not in the IFFCD network, which is always rewarding for an organization. The survey results revealed that all the participants had a positive view of the IFCCD and that they wished to collaborate with the federation again or to become a member and participate in a new IFCCD in the future. In short, participation in the event is proof of a keen interest by civil society in the issues addressed by the Convention. In particular, there is a real desire on the part of civil society to collaborate to adopt and implement cultural policies, or policies aimed at protecting and promoting culture in trade agreements or the digital environment. Regional and national political organizations’ representatives on-site were able to witness that. For those who missed the Congress, summaries of the presentations and supporting documentation, video material and the declaration on the IFCCD website are an opportunity to see the interest and expertise of civil society to contribute to the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions. In addition, all this material, which continues to be put online on our website, allows those who did not participate in the event to strengthen their knowledge and use the training and mobilization material to support their activities. The Lomé Declaration came out of the collaborative work with participants to arrive at a consensus version. It was published on the IFCCD’s website and shared on social media. In this declaration, “Participants of the 6th Congress of the IFCCD are committed to working together on these objectives toward the next IFCCD meeting in 2022–2023.” The first objective involves the development, implementation and evaluation of cultural policies. Beyond this result, depending on the event’s final program, we can affirm that the conference helped establish a forum for analysis, forward thinking, dialogue and proposals for the development and, especially, the implementation of cultural policies. This also influenced the delegates at the congress to identify the IFCCD’s directions and priorities.