Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

UNESCO adopts the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: “Canada will move quickly to ratify the Convention and will continue to play a leadership role to ensure that the Convention is ratified by the largest possible number of UNESCO member

Liza Frulla, Canadian Heritage Minister, Ottawa, October 20, 2005 – 2005/10/20

Following adoption of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions by the member states of UNESCO, minister of Canadian heritage Liza Frulla declared “This is a great day for the cultural community. With this Convention in place, the international community will be able to take full advantage of the treasure of our diverse cultures and identities for generations to come. This successful outcome is the fruit of Canada’s international leadership and the productive partnerships it has built over the years with countries in the International Network on Cultural Policy, the Francophonie, and the Organization of American States. Canada is grateful for the hard work of its partner countries that have been advocating the need for this Convention.”

Ms. Frulla went on to add that she “would like to acknowledge the cooperation of the provinces and territories throughout this process, and especially the Government of Quebec’s important contribution and its productive collaboration,” The minister further added, “I would also like to underscore the role of civil society in advancing this file, at home and abroad (…). This is why Canada will move quickly to ratify the Convention and will continue to play a leadership role to ensure that the Convention is ratified by the largest possible number of UNESCO member states as soon as possible.”

In a speech on October 17 at the 33rd UNESCO General Conference on the need to adopt the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, minister Frulla declared that, “In Canada, representatives of provincial and territorial governments and civil society have unanimously stated their support for the text of the Convention that has been submitted to us. The Quebec minister of culture is with me here today to demonstrate her province’s commitment alongside Canada’s federal government (…). Our efforts to get this Convention adopted by member states of UNESCO are driven by our unshakeable commitment to protect and promote Canada’s rich cultural diversity, including our Aboriginal heritage, and the boundless creativity of Canadians. The text of the Convention is the result of lengthy negotiations and compromises between countries around the world. It is a balanced and reasonable text which meets Canada’s core objectives.” She also pointed out that “Canada has been a key player in the development of the Convention and, since 1998, has been part of all the negotiations to ensure progress and consensus. Through its leadership, Canada has demonstrated its commitment to greater international cooperation to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. We will continue to work with our partners here at UNESCO, at home, and around the world to ensure that the diversity of expressions of humanity continues to be heard and preserved for future generations.”

Before inviting her colleague from Quebec to conclude Canada’s presentation, Ms. Frulla explained that “This is not a Convention that is against anything. This is a Convention that is for all of us. It is for all these reasons that this Convention has received such a large consensus. And it is also why Canada calls on all member states to vote in favor of adopting the text of the Convention without changes.”