Grange urges J’cans to continue taking advantage of UNESCO Convention

Monday, November 11, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, says Jamaica has been reaping the benefits of signing on to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression.

The minister was speaking at the recent National Consultation on Cultural Diversity.

According to her, Jamaica played a leading role in the development of the Convention, which promotes “two very significant tenets; the promotion of international cooperation in culture for development and, even more importantly, the provision of preferential treatment to developing countries for the mobility of artists and cultural practitioners as well as movement of goods and services from developing to developed countries”.

She said there has been an increase in the output of the creative sector as a result of the Convention, as “Jamaica partnered with promoters in Europe, Canada and the United States, particularly in 2008 when the European Union adopted the Convention in the development of its Protocol on Cultural Cooperation and in the liberalisation of preferential trade in culture for contractual services suppliers as part of the Economic Partnership Agreement”.

Grange pointed to the number of Jamaican artistes, technicians and cultural academics participating in Reggae festivals in Europe as a successful outcome of formal engagement under the convention.

However, she noted that there is still scope to take greater advantage of the elements of the convention.

Grange said the national consultation and the three-day workshop, which followed, were part of the ministry’s programme to encourage Jamaican creatives to engage more with developed countries as the Government seeks to promote even greater prosperity for the sector.

The minister also used the opportunity to update stakeholders on the government’s plan to review the Copyright Act to incorporate the WIPO-Administered Marrakech Treaty — which makes the production and international transfer of specially-adapted books for people with blindness or visual impairments easier — among other amendments.

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