STATEMENT BY JEAN-BERNARD LEVY,
CHAIRMAN OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD OF VIVENDI UNIVERSAL
Tunis, November 16, 2005
Secretary-General, Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Ambassadors,
representatives from the private sector and civil society,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you this afternoon.
I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to share how Vivendi
Universal is contributing to this second phase of the World Summit on the
Vivendi Universal is a communications group, a global leader in two
sectors: media and telecommunications.
Our businesses range from music, television, motion pictures, interactive
games, to telephony—fixed and mobile: all businesses that bring people
together and facilitate access to information, and we develop them
Given the impact our Group has as a producer and distributor of content,
I will illustrate the potential contribution of new information and
communication technologies on human development by focusing on the question
of content, and in particular, on the critical issue of cultural diversity.
The Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of
cultural expressions, which the UNESCO General Conference adopted in Paris,
on October 21st of this year, recalls that "cultural diversity is a
mainspring for sustainable development for communities, peoples and
Allowing present and future generations to satisfy their curiosity and
develop their talents is indeed a priority for Vivendi Universal. That is
the heart of our policy on sustainable development and of our vision of
Let me share a concrete example: music.
The international division of our subsidiary, Universal Music Group, the
world leader in music, has 2,000 artists under contract in more than 50
countries, including Mali, Cameroon, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Congo, Brazil,
Colombia, China, and India, as well as in North America and Europe, Russia,
Japan, and the Pacific Islands.
We devote every drop of our energy to promoting and fostering the
expression of local talents in all musical genres, including jazz, classical
music, variety, pop, rap, and world music.
Most of our international artists express themselves in their native
language—the best way to convey the wealth of linguistic diversity and touch
the hearts and feelings of our listeners around the world.
New information and communication technologies are driving an explosion
of new consumer practices in the world of music, such as paid music
downloads via the Internet, and music sales on cellphones. As such, these
technologies are a tremendous springboard for the promotion of artists, and
that includes promoting local talent in developing countries.
As a player in the private sector, we want to go further still in our
determination to stimulate creativity and to bolster production and
distribution in developing countries in order to contribute to the emergence
of a dynamic cultural sector, as a source of economic progress, social
cohesion, enabling individuals and communities to find fulfillment.
The underlying theme to promoting cultural diversity through our various
businesses, in the media or through telecommunications, is respect for
intellectual property. Fighting piracy is a major concern for us, in
developed and emerging markets alike. We also pay great attention to the
quality of programs we deliver, to the expression of pluralism and dialogue
Inspired by these goals, and in partnership with other players, Vivendi
Universal intends to contribute to the emergence of an information society
respectful of the capacities and values of humanity.
Thank you for your time.