DE RUEHSL #0736 2431303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311303Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0272
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0403
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHFR/USMISSION UNESCO PARIS PRIORITY 0001 UNCLAS BRATISLAVA 000736
DEPT. TO IO/UNESCO M. CRISTINA NOVO
DEPT ALSO PASS TO IO/PPC RICHARD WILBUR
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: SLOVAKIA PLANS TO RATIFY UNESCO CULTURAL DIVERSITY
REF: STATE 19851
1. The Slovak Government is moving forward with plans to
ratify the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion
of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions by the end of the
year. According to Ladislav Simko, Director of the
International Department at the Ministry of Culture (MOC),
the GOS started the ratification process August 25th by
initiating a 10-day comment period that is open to government
agencies and the public. Simko said that the MOC plans to
submit the treaty for cabinet approval in the second half of
September, with the goal of getting Parliamentary approval in
October or early December (parliament is not in session in
November.) The President would be expected to sign the
Convention within two to three weeks. Based on these
considerations, the Convention could be sent to the UN as
early as late October, and likely by the end of the year.
2. As a part of this effort the the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs sponsored a conference on August 26 to bring together
stakeholders to discuss the ratification process. Bozena
Krizikova from the Slovak Committee for UNESCO, an advisory
committee set up by the Slovak Government in the 1990's,
noted during the conference that the EU had encouraged member
states to speed up the ratification process. The Slovak
Association for Cultural Diversity, an umbrella organization
of authors, writers, actors and directors, also participated
in the conference. Lubomir Fifik, secretary of the
association, was quoted in the press as supporting early
ratification as he believes that the treaty's adoption will
lead to additional funding of cultural programs.
3. The Convention has received limited attention in the press
outside of this recent conference.
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