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WTO

GATS Negotiations and Cultural Policies

As reported in the last issue of the INCD Newsletter, the December meeting of trade ministers in Hong Kong has given new impetus to the WTO's Doha Round of negotiations. One of the decisions reached by ministers was a new process for GATS negotiations that, according to INCD Steering Committee member Jane Kelsey, ?will directly affect audiovisual services, and other sectors with major impacts on culture, such as telecommunications, computer-related services and logistics (including distribution services).
Filed Under: English | WTO

WTO Wrap-up

The Hong Kong WTO Ministerial is over. If you're interested in contributing analysis of what implications the Hong Kong text will have for media, culture, and communication, please submit a story (use the link on the top left of this page to add content.) For analysis of what happened in HK, both inside the negotiations and on the streets, check out the following links:

Bridges (International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development) | No WTO Hong Kong Wiki | People's caravan aims for WTO and Hong Kong | Direct Action Against the WTO | Go Media (videos) | People's Radio Hong Kong | Indymedia.org article | Stop the New Round Coalition | Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO | Transnational Institute: Beyond the WTO | Global Exchange's WTO Page | International Forum on Globalization | Peoples Global Action | Global Issues article | SEATINI - WTO and Africa | Media Culture Action (South Korea) | Stop WTO Video Blog | Hong Kong Independent Media
Filed Under: English | WTO

Activists mobilize for Hong Kong WTO

Trade ministers, NGOs, and social movements are all converging on Hong Kong, China, for the 6th Ministerial meeting of the WTO (World Trade Organization), which will take place from December 13-18th, 2005. A network of movement activity is bustling, with hubs including the Hong Kong People's Alliance on the WTO [en | chinese] and the Stop the New Round Coalition (SNRC), among others.

Peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea are getting organized to come to Hong Kong, mobilize against corporate globalization and present alternative proposals. Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned between December 11th-18th, with the majority of activity during The People's Action Week, opening with a Public Assembly of the movements on the 13th and closing with a mass march on the 18th.

Organizing momentum has increased with a string of strategy meetings and declarations by Asian regional NGO and social movements, including the Colombo Declaration in June: "We, workers, organized and un-organized, peasants, dalits, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks, women, students, migrants and other marginalized communities of Asia in solidarity with other peoples of the world will stand at the forefront of the global struggle against the Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting."

Media activists will also be arriving from around the region and across the world to hold workshops and skillshares, to strategize together, and to plan independent coverage of the mobilizations and events in Hong Kong. The media conference and workshop is called New Media and Social Transformation. The major purpose of the conference is to have more in-depth discussion on the independent media movement in Asia, and plan possible long-run collaborations. However, a workshop will be organized for independent reporters to cover the WTO, and a sharing and exchange workshop will be organized by the end of the WTO mobilization. Here is an update of the New Media and Social Transformation conference plan . [inmediahk site in chinese].


More background:
ZNet | Third World Network | Declaration of conference on WTO, Development and Migration | Colombo Declaration

Mobilization Links:

  • Stop the New Round Coalition (SNRC)
  • The Hong Kong People's Alliance on the WTO [en | chinese]
  • New Media and Social Transformation [blog].

Filed Under: English | WTO

UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity: CRIS Statement/ UNESCO Convention sur la diversité culturelle: Communiqué CRIS

The campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS:
www.crisinfo.org) welcomes UNESCO's near-unanimous approval of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions. The Convention is a clear demonstration that governments recognize that culture cannot be reduced to a mere commodity. By endorsing the Convention, governments have shown that they are prepared to take positive steps to support cultural diversity in the age of global cultural industries.
Filed Under: Campaign Material | Copyright/Fair Use | English | Français | Key documents | Media Ownership | NGO | Noncommercial Media | Press Release | Screen Quotas | Social Movement | Subsidies | WTO

UNESCO adopts convention to protect diversity

PARIS, Oct 20 (IPS) - The United Nations cultural body adopted an international treaty Thursday to protect cultural diversity, marking what experts say is a first but important moral victory in the long-running fight to preserve the world's cultural richness.
Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | Radio | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | USAUSFTA | WTO

CPTech Statement on UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

This week, 151 countries are supporting UNESCO Convention on the
Protection of Cultural Diversity while the US and Israel are against
it (Australia and the Pacific island of Kiribati are abstaining). This is my take on it. Everyone is focusing on the politics of it (the US isolated again etc) but I am most interested in the cultural exception issue.
Filed Under: English | Media Ownership | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO

Diversity of Cultural Expressions News

Here is the link to consult the Diversity of Cultural Expressions News of this week: http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/international/diversite-culturelle/eng/index.html

In this edition of our Newsletter: The State Department of the USA held a second public briefing to discuss their work in the negotiations of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity;

Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Français | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO

The WTO, the Internet and Trade in Digital Products

Flyer for a new book on electronic trade and WTO: The rapid development of the Internet has led to a growing potential for electronic trade in digital content like movies, music and software. As a result, there is a need for a global trade framework applicable to such digitally delivered content products. Yet, digital trade is currently not explicitly recognised by the trade rules and obligations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Filed Under: Academic | Book | English | Government | Industry | Internet and Broadband | Media Ownership | Research Paper | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

UNESCO convention: final text

The version of the text of the UNESCO convention that will be submitted to the General Assembly in the fall of 2005. This is not an official version from UNESCO but was prepared by the British delegat
Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | FTAA | Government | Key documents | NAFTA | Negotiation Document | Regional FTAs | USAUSFTA | WTO

UNESCO approves convention on cultural diversity

UNESCO logo UNESCO has approved the Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD), after several years of negotiations. The CCD (formally known as the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions) is meant to provide legal backing to the principle that culture cannot be reduced to a commodity. Concretely, it may help countries exclude their cultural policies, including 'audiovisual services' - otherwise known as the mass media - from 'free trade' deals like the WTO.

During the negotiations, progressive NGO networks like the International Network on Cultural Diversity and the campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society called for broad civil society support for the CCD, but warned that it should not be subordinated to the WTO and should be written to support cultural and media diversity inside countries, not only between them. In addition, they successfully lobbied for the elimination of language that would have supported the current extremist copyright regime, but they failed to insert references to the importance of the public domain, fair use, and the creative commons.

For a roundup of news related to the UNESCO process, check out del.icio.us/tag/mediatrade.

New Key Documents:
  • Final Text of the Convention. [en | fr]
  • Statement by the CRIS campaign on the Convention's adoption: [en, fr]

    Older Key Documents:
  • Earlier comments by the CRIS campaign [ en | es | fr]
  • Comments by the INCD [word]
  • UNESCO overview of the Convention process
  • Daily reports from the II session of the intergovernmental meeting [Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12 ]
  • Reports from the III (final) session of the intergovernmental meeting: UNESCO report | INCD
  • Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | FTAA | NAFTA | Regional FTAs | USAUSFTA | WTO

    North and South countries differ on assessment of services talks

    North and South countries differ on assessment of services talks, and on the need or otherwise for new negotiating approach. A week of services negotiations took place at the WTO in the week 27 June to
    Filed Under: English | WTO

    NGO REGISTRATION FOR HONG KONG WTO

    Details of how NGOs can register to attend the 6th WTO Ministerial
    Conference in Hong Kong, 13 to 18 December 2005, are now available at
    https://meetings.wto.org/NGO/PreRegistration/ngohome.aspx?Language=3DE
    Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Internet and Broadband | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Radio | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

    Report by Garry Neil (INCD) on final round of UNESCO negotiations, 25 May - 5 June 2005

    INCD logo

    We are only half way through the third and final meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts which is considering the terms of a Convention on cultural diversity. However, the rhythm of the meeting is well established and it is now possible to contemplate the broad parameters of the final outcome, with only a couple of elements remaining under consideration. The meeting may conclude ahead of schedule [...]
    Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English | Key documents | Media Ownership | NGO | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO

    Protecting Europe's cultural diversity

    EUROMEI meeting

    A growing concentration of media ownership poses a threat to Europe's cultural diversity, warned media, entertainment and arts trade unionists meeting in Budapest.
    Filed Under: English | Media Ownership | Noncommercial Media | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | WTO

    US firm challenges Canadian film subsidies under NAFTA

    Attached is a legal claim by a US firm against the Canadian government. They are arguing that Canada's subsidies to domestic film production violate NAFTA, and demanding compensation.
    Filed Under: English | NAFTA | Negotiation Document | Regional FTAs | Subsidies | WTO | All related documents

    NOSSA MÍDIA NÃO ESTÁ A VENDA

    NOSSA MÍDIA NÃO ESTÁ A VENDA



    "Livre Comércio" vs. Imprensa Livre

    Como consequência do colapso do encontro mundial de comércio da OMC, em

    Cancún, ministros de finanças estão se esforçando para aprovar acordos
    Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | Campaign Material | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | Noncommercial Media | Portugués | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | USAUSFTA | WTO | All related documents

    US State Department public briefing on the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

    Friday, April 15. The briefers were Jane Cowley, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State with Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts and Robert Martin, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services, who were leaders of the negotiating delegation. The briefing took place at The Old Post Office Building, in the President's Council on Arts and Humanities room (Room 520), 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
    Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | Copyright/Fair Use | English | FTAA | Government | Key documents | Media Ownership | NAFTA | Noncommercial Media | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | USAUSFTA | WTO

    Trade liberalization and policy for media industries

    Wildman, S. (1995). "Trade liberalization and policy for media industries." Canadian Journal of Communication 20, pp. 367-388: Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | Français | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | Noncommercial Media | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | USAUSFTA | WTO

    Our Media are Not for Sale (quito, spanish

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at Americas Social Forum, Quito. Two sided, bilingual; this is the Spanish side.
    Filed Under: CAFTA | Campaign Material | Commercialism | Español | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | NGO | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

    Our Media are Not for Sale (quito, english)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at Americas Social Forum, Quito. Two sided, bilingual; this is the English side.
    Filed Under: CAFTA | Campaign Material | Commercialism | English | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | NGO | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

    Brixen Declaration

    Executive summary of the Brixen/Bressanone Declaration on Cultural Diversity and GATS.
    Filed Under: English | Government | Negotiation Document | WTO

    E-Commerce and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

    The Telecommunications Workers Union's (Canada) analysis of e-commerce and the impact of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. This document outlines the primary impacts of deregulation on the telecommunication industry amidst a global political, economic and social system that places increased importance on telecommunications infrastructure.
    Filed Under: English | Labor | Research Paper | WTO

    The Recent Free Trade Agreements of the United States as Illustrations of Their New Strategy Regarding the Audiovisual Sector

    This is an excellent article that carefully describes the impact of 5 recent US free trade agreements on cultural industries in the affected countries. The gist of it is that US trade strategy is shifting: USTR may be willing to make concessions to countries that want to require local content or ownership in 'traditional' AV sector, ie film and radio; however, no such requirements will be allowed in the category of 'electronic commmerce.' This is because USTR (and MPAA) expect all cultural content (films, television, music) to be transmitted digitally in the near future.
    Filed Under: Academic | Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | Research Paper | USAUSFTA | WTO

    Statement: A different communication is possible

    The communication organizations that promote communication rights and support the CRIS Campaign (ALAI - ALER - AMARC – Proyecto Monitor de Políticas TIC en LAC de APC - OCLACC - Radipaz – WACC), issued the following statement to communicators, members of society and the public opinion in general in the city of Quito for the Social Forum of the Americas:
    Filed Under: Campaign Material | English | FTAA | NGO | WTO

    Asian Peoples' Resolution against Liberalization and Privatization of Public Services

    Endorsed by the participants of the "Asia Social & People's Movements Assembly", 15th June 2004, Seoul, Korea:

    After the economic crisis of 1990's, countries in Asia actively adopted restructuring policies enforced by the World Bank and IMF. As a result, Asia became completely immersed in the neoliberal order, and there has been wide spread privatizations because of these neoliberal policies.

    Filed Under: Korean | Press Release | Social Movement | WTO

    WTO Panel Rules Against Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries

    In a landmark decision published in April 2004, the WTO panel ruling in the Telmex case interpreted the General Agreement on Trade in Services in ways that have strong negative implications for developing countries. The panel rejected all of Mexico's arguments that development objectives have to be considered in weighing whether a developing country is meeting its GATS commitments.
    Filed Under: English | News Item | NGO | WTO

    Cultural Diversity News

    Coalition Currents: The Secretariat for the International Liaison Committee of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (ILC) publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Coalition Currents. The April 3, 2004 issue focuses on a number of highlights on the cultural diversity front, including information on the Troisième rencontres internationales des organisations professionnelles de la Culture, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea, from June 1 to 4, 2004. Other topics include the timetable released by the director-general of UNESCO for the
    Filed Under: Bilateral FTAs | Campaign Material | English | NGO | Regional FTAs | WTO | All related documents

    Our Media are Not for Sale (pamphlet outside)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at FTAA Miami Ministerial. Outside of 2 sided flyer, print ready.
    Filed Under: CAFTA | Campaign Material | Commercialism | English | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | NGO | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO

    Our Media are Not for Sale (pamphlet inside)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at FTAA Miami Ministerial. Inside of 2 sided flyer, print ready.
    Filed Under: CAFTA | Campaign Material | Commercialism | English | FTAA | Media Ownership | NAFTA | NGO | Regional FTAs | Screen Quotas | Subsidies | Television and Cable | WTO