Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Diversité culturelle : «le québec est en lui-même une exception culturelle»

Mme MONIQUE GAGNON-TREMBLAY, Vice-première ministre du Québec, ministre des Relations internationales et ministre responsable de la Francophonie

Paris, le 25 octobre 2003 - 2003/10/25

Speaking at the closing session of the first European multidisciplinary conference on Québec studies organized by the International Association of Québec Studies and the France-Québec Center for Inter-university Cooperation, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay recalled that “Québec supports the adoption of an international convention on cultural diversity enshrining the right of states and governments to implement policies in support of culture and cultural diversity.” Ms Gagnon-Tremblay congratulated UNESCO on its decision “to green-light the drafting of the convention” and stressed that the legally binding international instrument would not only define “applicable law in the area of cultural diversity while encouraging openness to other cultures and cultural expressions,” but also establish a “law parallel—but not subordinate—to international trade law.” She invited academics to get involved in the effort in their home countries and contribute intellectually to the process, taking inspiration from the broad coalitions for the defense and promotion of cultural diversity that have emerged in Québec and elsewhere. According to Ms Gagnon-Tremblay, “public opinion […] has to make its voice heard in government circles to ensure that the UNESCO convention truly meets the needs of all countries.” ( Available in French only )