Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Allocution du premier Ministre du québec, m. Jean Charest, à l’occasion du dîner d’état offert dans le cadre de la visite du premier Ministre Français

M. Jean-Pierre Raffarin - Québec, le 23 mai 2003

In his speech, Premier Jean Charest asserted that “in a context of unbridled globalization, protecting cultural and linguistic diversity is absolutely essential,” adding that “protecting cultural and linguistic diversity is one of the keys to controlled globalization.” In Mr. Charest’s view, cultural diversity must be considered “as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, together with economic, environmental, and social concerns.” The premier also pointed out that Québec and France are working together to promote the elaboration of the first draft of an international instrument that will guarantee states and governments the right to determine their cultural policies and develop the means to implement them. In this respect, Mr. Charest is particularly pleased that UNESCO recently recognized the importance of cultural diversity and recommended that efforts be continued to develop a new international instrument to protect it. Mr. Charest also noted that “France and Québec both have a rich regional heritage that contributes to their geographic, cultural, and linguistic diversity,” Mr. Charest suggested to Mr. Raffarin that “we can draw upon this heritage to broaden our horizons of cooperation.” For this reason, he hopes that “France and Québec will join forces in the fight for cultural diversity” in a “new France-Québec alliance.“ (Available in French only)