INCD declares 'richness of diversity'

29 October 2002, South Africa

The International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) recently concluded three days of meetings in the South African city of Cape Town, which saw 186 delegates brought together from some 37 countries. Organised around the theme ‘Fostering Cultural Diversity and Development: Local, National and Global Strategies’, the meetings concluded with the presentation of the ‘Cape Town Declaration’ to a gathering of ministers of culture, known as the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP). According to a statement from the INCD, the declaration notes: ‘All of the world’s citizens are impoverished when they are denied the opportunity to experience the full richness of the diversity of all communities.’ The INCD talks reportedly focussed ‘on both the inter-relatedness of cultural diversity and sustainable development, as well as the draft Convention on Cultural Diversity, a global initiative to implement a treaty that would provide a permanent legal foundation for government measures that support cultural diversity.’ Delegates at the meetings committed themselves to advocating on behalf of their communities, towards policies ensuring that development projects do not imperil cultural expression or cultural exchange, while seeking – in line with the INCD convention – to counter the destructive effects of globalisation and trade liberalisation on cultural diversity. Steven Shrybman, Canadian international trade lawyer and convention author, commented in his Cape Town presentation that: ‘We need not only contain the absolute rule of trade regimes but to extend the power of human and cultural rights.’ Further information on INCD is available online at: