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Imagine a world with no artists, no honest expression, no light, no beauty, no truth - Christiane Amanpour

new global report tracking the progress and challenges in implementing the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, now ratified by 141 Parties, will be released on 16 December, 2015, at 10 AM. The launch event will take place during the 9th Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention at UNESCO HQ in Paris , 14-16 December, in the presence of Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, and high level guests, including Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Per Olsson Fridh, State Secretary to the Minister of Culture and Democracy of Sweden, and Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
This special message was sent by Christiane Amanpour, CNN chief international correspondent and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist safety, in support of the 2005 Convention and the new Report entitled: “Re | Shaping Cultural Policies: A Decade Promoting the Diversity of Cultural expressions for Development”.
‘’Imagine a world with no artists, no honest expression, no light, no beauty, no truth.
That's the world we would inhabit without artists, journalists or any cultural voices freely expressing themselves.
In my 33 years at CNN, I have seen the power of the spoken word, the power of the visual world, become the most important pillars of a properly functioning democracy and any healthy civil society, and therefore our quality of life. 
Journalism, like any form of art or culture, is not just about freedom of expression, but crucially, it is about freedom of thought. And it is about increasing the diversity of cultural expression. True art is about standing up to state-sponsored propaganda and resisting the herd mentality. Today however, we see journalists and artists in too many parts of the world declared the enemy. The rising tide of nationalism and identity politics has sucked us into its net.  
I believe most journalists and artists use their voices and their platforms responsibly, knowing that we must always speak the truth, whether it’s comfortable or not. Never letting anyone browbeat us into believing that they have a monopoly on the truth, and never being afraid of power but always holding it accountable. 
Imagine a world without people willing to fight that fight.’’
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Photo Credit: CNN International