Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

21 mai - Journée mondiale de la diversité culturelle : " l'Assemblée nationale du Québec réitère son engagement à promouvoir et préserver la diversité culturelle dans le monde" - Motion sans préavis

Mme Line Beauchamp, ministre de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, le 20 mai 2004 - 2004/05/20

On the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity, Québec minister of culture and communications Line Beauchamp, with the consent of assembled members, tabled the following motion without notice: “That the National Assembly reiterate its commitment to promoting and preserving cultural diversity in the world on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly.” She notably stated that “Québec is firmly committed to globalization that is mindful of cultural diversity,” particularly given that the Government of Québec was “one of the first to officially take up the cause of creating an international convention in this regard.” Ms Beauchamp stressed that “We hold firm to this conviction while remaining resolutely committed to free trade. We continue to believe that freer markets will have a salutary effect on economies like ours.” But she declared, “Culture is not a product like any other. Its vitality reveals the identity of peoples, and is very often tied to public support, particularly in small markets like ours. We have safeguarded the unique and original character of our culture by developing the means to ensure its expression and development. This is why government cultural policies must not be subject to blind market rules or international trade agreements.” In this spirit, she said she subscribed “enthusiastically to the process launched by UNESCO director-general Matsuura to elaborate a draft international convention on cultural diversity and submit it to the next UNESCO General Conference in 2005 with a view to affording cultural expression the status it deserves by conferring on it its own system of law.” She further stated that “With our government partners, the education community, and civil society, we will continue to raise our voices everywhere we can to ensure that Québec may go on supporting its creative talent and cultural industries, and put in place conditions that foster the expression of its culture and identity,” and that “for the moment, the challenge for governments that favor a convention on cultural diversity is to support UNESCO’s efforts so that in the end they possess a regulatory tool recognized by as many nations as possible and that meets the imperatives of true efficiency.”
(Available in French)