Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Civil Society

The Convention is the first to acknowledge the important role of civil society in the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions and identifies various areas of responsibility in brining the Convention, its principles and articles to life by:  

  • Bringing citizens’, associations’ and enterprises’ concerns to public authorities;
  • Monitoring policies and programmes implementation;
  • Playing a watchdog role, serving as value-guardian and innovator;
  • Contributing to the achievement of greater transparency and accountability in governance;
  • Supporting Parties, as appropriate, in the elaboration and implementation of cultural policies;
  • Capacity-building and carrying out data collection;
    Advocating for the widespread ratification of the Convention and its implementation;
  • Cooperating for development at local, national and international levels.

Non-governmental organizations coming from developing countries that are Parties to the Convention, which meet the definition of civil society and criteria regulating admission of its representatives at meetings of organs of the Convention as mentioned in the operational guidelines relating to the role and participation of civil society are entitled to benefit from the International Fund for Cultural Diversity.  Find out how you can apply.

Civil society organizations or groups could be admitted to attend the sessions of the organs of the Convention, according to the procedure established by the Rules of Procedure of each organ.  The request for admission shall be signed by the official representative of the organization or group (not including NGOs maintaining official relations with UNESCO) and will be accompanied by:

  1. A copy of its statutes or bylaws;
  2. A list of members or, in the case of non-membership entities (e.g. foundations), a list of board members;
  3. A brief description of their recent activities, which also illustrates their representativeness in the fields covered by the Convention.

Definition: For the purposes of this Convention, civil society means non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, professionals in the culture sector and associated sectors, groups that support the work of artists and cultural communities.