Vienna/Paris, 17 June 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: "Accolade for Austria's international cultural relations"

Austria appointed member of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

Vienna/Paris, 15 June 2013 - Austria has again been appointed a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at the member states conference held in Paris from 11 to 14 June. Austria was already a member of this Committee between 2007 and 2009. "The appointment underlines Austria's role as a promoter of cultural diversity and cultural dialogue in the international community", Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger said.

The UNESCO Convention is an important pillar of national and international cultural policy. The provisions of the Convention are also seen as a reference point in the shaping of international business and trade relations.

The Committee is composed of 24 elected state party members and in charge of promoting, managing and monitoring the implementation of the Convention. The analysis of national measures to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions is a vital part of the Committee's work. "As a member of the Committee, Austria is able to provide impetus for the intensification of international dialogue and cooperation in this important sphere of cultural policy", the Vice-Chancellor said. The Committee plays a decisive role in identifying and preparing international standards to create conducive framework conditions for a multi-faceted and open cultural life.

As has been shown by the discussion of the negotiating mandate for a free trade agreement between the EU and the USA, the protection of the diversity of cultural expressions is sure to be of increasing importance for international relations in future. "This is why Austria's appointment to the UNESCO Committee is even more pleasing. It enables us to pro-actively contribute to the discussion of this unique international tool", the Vice-Chancellor concluded.


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