Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Le Canada, la France, le Québec et la future convention de l’UNESCO sur la diversité culturelle : "Véhiculer un discours profondément positif !"

Mme Liza Frulla, ministre fédérale du Patrimoine canadien, Paris, le 22 septembre 2004 - 2004/09/22

On a visit to Paris for the first session of the intergovernmental meeting of experts on the preliminary draft Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions, Ms Frulla spoke with UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. She also discussed the matter with French minister of culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and later with Mr. Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). In an interview with Le Figaro, she stated that “in Canada, cultural diversity is a long-standing concern. Jacques Chirac gave it recognition by placing it within the framework of UNESCO and giving it a schedule. Today, I am delighted to see that more and more countries are supporting the project. Discussions are headed in the right direction. Just like civil society, we want discussions to lead to a strong declaration that is binding, that is, has the legal force to counter WTO during negotiations.” She emphasized that “it is important to have clear rules governing cultural expressions” and that “with strong wording, we will be protected.” Ms Frulla also maintained in a press conference that Québec, the federal government’s main partner on the issue of cultural diversity, “can now, at times, speak on behalf of Canada on the world stage.” This implies that Line Beauchamp, Québec Minister of Culture and Communications, can speak for Frulla when the Canadian Heritage Minister is unable to attend certain foreign meetings. Canadian Press reports that “Ottawa and Québec City have long been defending cultural diversity with the ‘same voice,’ sharing their experts, and co-funding the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity” in order to promote an international convention on cultural diversity. (Available in French) [73]