M. Jean Charest, premier ministre du Québec, le 25 février 2004 - 2004/02/25
In a speech given on February 25, 2004 at the École nationale d’administration publique du Québec (ÉNAP), Premier Charest spoke in front of an audience of public administrators about “Quebec’s place in today’s world” with regards to conducting international relations and the challenges created by globalization. In this regard, the Prime Minister stated, “Identity and trade issues have been the driving forces of Quebec’s international dealings.” Moreover, this active involvement on the international scene has been an abiding feature of the policy pursued by Quebec’s successive governments since the 1960s. He also maintained, “In terms of values, Quebec will be seen as a promoter of peace and respect among nations. This notion of respect implies that Quebec will take on its international responsibility with regards to cultural diversity,” a “major issue,” such that “Quebec, together with France and the Canadian government, is campaigning for an agreement, under the auspices of UNESCO, that will guarantee nations the right to support their cultures.”
For Premier Charest, it is clear that “globalization is not synonymous with homogeneity” and that culture “is not a bastion against anything, but truly a springboard towards the entire world.” Thus, he stated, “We support a globalization that respects rights; (…) we will act as advocates for all peoples who lack the strength in numbers.” (Available in French only).