During her recent mission to France , Quebec 's minister of international relations Monique Gagnon-Tremblay officially marked the coming into office of Mr. Michel Audet, Québec's first-ever representative to UNESCO, at a reception held in conjunction with the Canadian ambassador and permanent representative to UNESCO, Gilbert Laurin. The reception was held on October 11 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris , bringing together ambassadors and permanent delegates to UNESCO, and a number of public figures.
Michel Audet's appointment as the Québec government's first representative within the Canadian permanent delegation to UNESCO, “is proof that Canada and Québec are capable of reconciling unity and differences for the benefit of an organization mindful of universality and positioned at the very center of multicultural dialog,” declared Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay.
“A number of international debates would be well served by considering proposals made by federated states,” said Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay, adding that, “As with cultural diversity, the governments of Québec and Canada will work together over the coming years in UNESCO fields of activity.” The minister also wished Mr. Audet every success in his new assignment.
Michel Audet assumed his duties in February 2007. In late June he headed the Québec delegation and presented Québec's position at the inaugural session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions held in Paris . Mr. Audet works primarily on matters relating to universal education, information society issues, and the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The MRI press release notes that “the Québec-Canada agreement on UNESCO is historic in that it recognizes ‘that the specificity of Québec leads it to play a special role at the international level' and, for the first time, assigns Québec an official role within a United Nations agency.”