On the occasion of two recent public declarations, Minister of Canadian Heritage Beverley Oda has strongly reaffirmed the commitment taken by her Government to see that the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions will come into force promptly, and that its ratification will be the broadest possible so that it may become a credible international legal instrument. In the Commons Chamber, the Minister declared that she will take advantage of her meetings with political leaders from other countries to incite their Governments to follow suit with Canada in the prompt ratification of the Convention.
Upon the 12th International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montréal, last June 6, Minister Oda, on the occasion of a speech delivered in her name by Mrs. Sylvie Boucher, Parliamentary Secretary of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recalled her Government’s firm intention to "promote the coming into effect of the Convention in time for the next UNESCO General Conference, that will take place in the fall of 2007". She notably stressed that reaching the minimum threshold of 30 ratifications is the necessary minimum, and not the ultimate objective: "A critical mass of countries will be required for the Convention to gain real weight", she asserted. In this regard, Canada will thrive "to secure an important majority of ratifications (…). I do maintain, unequivocally the intention of the present Government to work towards that goal, she indicated, adding that the Federal Government will continue to collaborate closely with the civil society and with the Provincial and the Territorial Governments to promote UNESCO Convention".
To the intention of Mr. Matsuura, Minister Oda showed that "UNESCO, as an Organization, has a role to play" through inciting the Member States to ratify the Convention, adding that "the Government of Canada will be happy to work with Mr. Matsuura and his Organization in order to promote with strength and determination the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions".