Background activities in preparation of the World Report on Cultural Diversity

The preparation of the World Report on Cultural Diversity has consisted in:

1) Meetings of an Advisory Committee, for which outputs and recommendations guided the main axes of reflection in preparation of the report:

2) Internal and interdisciplinary consultations based on:

  • an inventory of the main publications related to cultural diversity
  • regular meetings of an intersectoral working group to help choose and define the main lines of argument of the report (the working group is made up of focal points based on expertise and professional responsibilities within UNESCO).

Among other intersectoral activities, 8 working groups collaborated with WRU between November 2006 and February 2007 (cultural diversity and linguistic diversity; cultural diversity and environment; cultural identities and religious identities; cultural diversity and movements of populations; cultural diversity and creation/innovation; cultural diversity and knowledge diversity; cultural diversity, the media and consumption; cultural diversity and poverty/development).   

On 26-27 April 2007, an intersectoral workshop involving international experts was organized on the World Report on Cultural Diversity.

On 14-16 January 2008, a Meeting of Experts on 'Cultural Diversity and Education' was organized with the UNESCO Centre of Catalunya (Barcelona), in consultation with the Education sector.

WRU also participated in other sectors' activities, including the Expert Meeting on Intercultural Education (20-22 March 2006) and the International Workshop on the Links between Biological and Cultural Diversity (26-28 September 2007).

Other intersectoral consultations included bilateral sectoral encounters for discussing the preliminary drafts of the World Report.

3) Institutional consultations with civil society and academic communities (early 2006), including:

  • the European Research Institute for Culture and the Arts (ERICarts) for Europe
  • George Mason University for North America
  • la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI) for Latin America
  • the Observatory for Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA) for Africa
  • the Middle East Center for Culture and Development (MECCAD) and Ms Leïla Rezk for the Arab world
  • the Asian Media Information Center (AMIC) for Asia-Pacific.

as well as thematic consultations with:

  • the International Music Council, on musical diversity
  • the University of Botswana for a study on post-conflict situations
  • the Institute de Cultura Ajuntament of Barcelona for a study on cultural diversity in local policies
  • the Swiss jurist Patrice Meyer-Bisch for a study on issues of cultural rights.

4) On the basis of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee and the intersectoral working group, the following background papers were requested in mid-2007:

Group 1

  • Ms Pernilla Askerud on ‘Cultural industries: mapping a new world’
  • Ms Annie Brisset on ‘World translation flows and practices’
  • Mr Peter Brosius on ‘Cultural diversity, a key component of sustainability’
  • Ms Linda Caldwell on ‘When youth come up against borders and other real or imaginary dividing lines’
  • Mr Antonio Damasio on ‘Theories about culture and current hypothesis on cognitive development’
  • Mr Philippe Descola on ‘Absolute universalism, particular universalism, relative universalism’
  • Ms Yvonne Donders on ‘Human rights and cultural diversity’
  • Ms Elfriede Fürsich on ‘Media, representation and cultural diversity’
  • Mr Chérif Khaznadar on ‘Performing artists, cultural diversity and creativity’
  • Mr Will Kymlicka on ‘Communities, equal opportunities and exclusion: towards post-multiculturalism?’
  • Ms Michèle Lamont on ‘Cultural diversity and poverty eradication’
  • Mr Alain Le Diberder on ‘Cultural industries, cultural diversity and development for South countries’
  • Mr Pierre Maranda on ‘From anthropological knowledge to understanding the knowledge-related dimensions of cultural diversity: understanding intercultural competency better’
  • Ms Carolina Ödman on ‘Diversity of knowledge and creativity for sustainable human development in the contexts of science and education: intercultural aspects of knowledge, its creation, transmission and utilization’
  • Mr Marc Raboy on ‘Media pluralism and the promotion of cultural diversity’
  • Mr Mike Robinson on ‘Negotiating and discovering cultural diversity through travel’
  • Ms Suzanne Romaine on ‘Languages and cultural identities’
  • Mr Carlo Severi on ‘Thinking according to the others worldviews: syncretism, contacts and intercultural communication’
  • Mr Hermann Tillmann on ‘Cultural diversity, a key component of sustainability’
  • Mr John Tomlinson on ‘Cultural globalization and the representation of Otherness through the media’
  • Mr Jorge Vala on ‘Diversity tolerance among youth’ Mr Steven Vertovec on ‘Communities, equal opportunities and exclusion: towards post-multiculturalism?’
  • Mr Jean-Pierre Warnier on ‘Cultural globalization: real or imaginary?’
  • Mr Ben Wiesner on ‘Climate change and the future of cultural diversity: towards a catastrophe scenario’

Group 2:

  • Ms Monica Caluser on ‘Good governance and consideration of the human dimension in different cultural contexts’
  • Ms Marina Djabbarzade on ‘Good governance and the role of specific stakeholders in different cultural contexts’
  • Mr Anatoly Vishnevsky on ‘Cultural diversity and demographic transitions’

Group 3:

  • Mr Johnson Cerda on ‘Cultural diversity in a changing climate’
  • Mr Danilo Leonardi on ‘Media law reform and policies in transitions countries’
  • Mr Mario Small on ‘Cultural diversity and poverty eradication’
  • Mr Victor Toledo on ‘Cultural diversity, a key component of sustainability’
  • Ms Manuela Carneiro da Cunha on a Concept paper on cultural diversity

Group 4:

  • Ms Jasleen Dhamija on ‘Crafts, cultural diversity and development’
  • Mr Amareswar Galla on ‘Cultural diversity and poverty eradication’
  • Mr Joseph Lo Bianco on ‘The importance of language policies and multilingualism for cultural diversity’
  • Mr Yudhisthir Raj Isar on 'Culture and cultural diversity: recent academic thinking'
  • Mr Daryush Shayegan on a Concept paper on cultural diversity
  • Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on ‘Indigenous peoples’ voice in a globalised world’
  • Mr Zhao Tingyang on ‘The Clash of Civilizations from a Chinese perspective’

Group 5a:

  • Mr Neville Alexander on ‘Rethinking culture, linking tradition and modernity’
  • Mr Doudou Diène on ‘New forms of racism and cultural stigmatization in our time: from intolerance to the propagation of stereotypes’
  • Mr Okwui Enwezor on ‘Artists in contemporary societies: national or global citizenships?’
  • Mr Francis Nyamnjoh on ‘Cultural globalization: real or imaginary?’
  • Ms Catherine Oddora-Hoppers on ‘Cultural diversity, traditions and modernities: complexity and opportunities in the 21st century’
  • Mr Crain Soudien on ‘Multiple cultural identities and cultural fictions: cultural makeshifts and metissages’

Group 5b:

  • Mr Abdullahi An-Na’im on ‘Universal Human Rights and the problem of interpretation and the definition of Human Rights and the notion of universality’
  • Ms Esther Benbessa on ‘Diversity in national culture: fictions and reconstructions of memory’
  • Mr Mahdi Elmandjra on ‘Future-oriented considerations on cultural diversity’
  • Mr Munir Fasheh on ‘Cultural diversity in formal and non formal education systems’


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