Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Table ronde sur la diversité culturelle aux Entretiens du Centre Jacques Cartier

Mme Line Beauchamp, ministre de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, le 7 octobre 2004 - 2004/10/07

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on cultural diversity at the opening session of the Dix-septièmes Entretiens du Centre Jacques Cartier, Line Beauchamp noted that during the course of UNESCO intergovernmental negotiations at the first meeting of experts of September 2004, “the plenary session acknowledged that the Preliminary draft of a convention on cultural diversity submitted to member states in July 2004 was a good working base. In addition, many of the governments represented recognized the special nature of cultural goods and services, the principle that governments have a right to adopt cultural policies, and the desire to develop an effective convention ratified by the largest possible number of member states.” Ms Beauchamp pointed out that “the efficacy of an international treaty depends not only on the quality of content, but on securing enough state and government signatures to confer maximum legitimacy.” She added, “We are actively promoting a convention that entrenches the right of states and governments to support culture through policy and we are doing so by developing applicable cultural law not subject to trade law and accompanied by dispute settlement mechanisms. This is a major issue for Québec.” Ms Beauchamp explained “the nature and scope of domestic and international mobilization for the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions” and reiterated Québec’s position, as confirmed by the provincial cabinet on September 3, 2003. With a second UNESCO meeting of government experts scheduled for February 2005, she concluded that “we must continue our efforts, consolidate our gains, and promote a solution that puts the convention on the diversity of the cultural expressions on equal footing with other international instruments and commitments and establishes an appropriate balance of power.” ( Available in French ) [75]