Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Cultural diversity with the OAS’ Second Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities – Mission Overview

Mme Line Beauchamp, ministre de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, Mexico le 24 août 2004 - 2004/08/24

Speaking at the OAS’ Second Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities in Mexico on August 23 and 24, Québec minister of culture and communications Line Beauchamp reiterated Québec’s stance on cultural diversity to her counterparts from the Americas, whom she called partners in the quest for cultural diversity. She stressed the fact that “both Québec and Canada, while remaining open to liberalizing trade, favor trade and distribution rules that take into account the special nature of cultural goods and services.” She also affirmed that cooperation between governments and civil society helps “guarantee the success not only of cultural policies, but also the work under way at UNESCO to draw up an international convention on cultural diversity.” For Québec, this convention “should define applicable law with respect to cultural diversity while stressing openness to other cultures and their cultural expressions, and create a body of law parallel, but not subject to international trade law, including an effective dispute resolution mechanism.”

Speaking on one of the three themes discussed at the meeting, namely culture as a force for social cohesion and in the fight against poverty, Ms Beauchamp also gave an overview of Québec’s experience in developing its cultural policy, one of whose thrusts is aimed at encouraging access to culture and public participation in cultural life. She declared that “it is essential to place our artists at the heart of our cultural policies, as artists are the driving force behind cultural production. We must therefore protect their rights and offer them the support they need to continue their creative endeavors.” According to her, this is why states must work together against piracy, as “states that wish to develop cultural policies will find it in their interest to fight piracy.” [69] (Available in French)