Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Québec and France join forces in order to convince countries to ratify as promptly as possible the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2006/07/22

At the end of a meeting between the Québec Prime Minister Jean Charest, and the President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac, which concluded the European tour that the Québec Prime Minister had undertaken in Paris on July 6 and which had also taken him in Austria and Germany, both Statesmen hoped for a wide ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions that would free culture from the rules of commerce. Therefore, they agreed on "joining forces" to convince the countries that have supported the said Convention to ratify it promptly so that it may become effective rapidly.

Prime Minister Charest, further asserted that «every effort must be made to ratify it » because some countries will continue to oppose it. Regarding ratification, « it is not only a matter of thirty or so countries approving it, we request the largest possible number of them (…). Wherever I go, I systematically bring up this question », he insisted. Indeed, Mr. Charest considers that this Convention, to which were opposed at UNESCO but two countries: the United States and Israel, represents a "major victory for Québec", as a result of the "efforts conducted with the Canadian Federal Government and France" to mobilize supports throughout the world. "Today, adds Mr. Charest in an interview to Le Monde, the struggle lies in obtaining the implementation of this Convention", which must be ratified by about thirty countries before coming into force.