Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

La diversité culturelle au Festival du Monde Arabe : Vers une nécessaire protection de la diversité des expressions culturelles

Madame Line Beauchamp, ministre de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, 5 novembre 2004 - 2004/11/05

Reflections on protecting the diversity of cultural expression around the globe, and especially in the Arab world, and discussions on experiences in Québec, Canada, and the world’s Arab and francophone communities underlay the main thrusts of the November 4 cultural diversity symposium held at Concordia University, Montreal, during the Festival du Monde Arabe. Three workshops were held on the following themes: " The diversity of cultural expressions: The situation in Québec " ; " The development of Arab culture in the face of hegemony: Are there alternatives to withdrawal into individual identities? Views of Arab world specialists " ; and " The diversity of cultural expressions and globalism: Similarities and differences in Arab, Québec, and Canadian experience " .

Speaking at the end of the symposium, minister of culture and communications Line Beauchamp declared that for the fifth anniversary edition of this unique cultural rendezvous, festival organizers “sought to share with us their understanding of the challenges involved in protecting the diversity of cultural expressions, both here at home and in the Arab world. I would like to thank them for furthering awareness and mobilization in favor of an effective UNESCO convention to protect the diversity of cultural expression. The Québec government places a very high priority on this issue. I believe that this Québec-Arab World symposium has provided another opportunity for us to enrich our understanding of our respective viewpoints.” Ms. Beauchamp also noted that Québec premier Jean Charest has never missed an opportunity - be it in London, Davos, Berlin, or New York City - to reaffirm Québec’s determination to protect its right to promote its own culture.”

Ms. Beauchamp also took advantage of the symposium to talk with participants and personalities from Québec and elsewhere : Ms Aziza Bennani, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Morocco to UNESCO; Mr. Robert Solé, a French-Egyptian writer and journalist, and contributor to Le Monde newspaper; Mr. François Zabbal, Editor-in-Chief of the Arab World Institute magazine Qantara; Mr. Naïm Kattan, writer and UQAM Associate Professor; Mr. Rachad Antonius, UQAM Professor and Arab World Specialist; Ms. Aïda Kamar vice-president of Festival du Monde Arabe. ( Available in French ) [79]