On December 10, 2007, Québec’s minister for culture, communications and the status of women, Christine St-Pierre, addressed the delegates of the numerous countries attending the inaugural session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Ottawa, Canada, from December 10 to 13, 2007.
Minister St-Pierre announced a $100,000 contribution from the Québec Government to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. The fund seeks to foster the emergence of cultural policies and industries in developing countries around the world.
“I would like to thank all the delegates who agreed to meet the challenge to implement the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Québec Government was one of the first to call for such a convention and is now determined to ensure its success. Its motivation has always been based on the fact that the vitality and diversity of cultural expressions are very often conditional on the support of public authorities. Without this support, Québec would never have been able to develop and share its culture throughout the world as it has done. Our contribution to the fund is an expression of our government’s desire to give a similar boost to artistic expressions in developing countries,” declared Ms. St-Pierre.
“Québec is putting great store in this Convention. Over the past few years, it has led a wide-ranging diplomatic campaign with a view to its ratification by as many states as possible. Our efforts, along with those of our partners in this undertaking, have not gone unrewarded—to date, 75 states have ratified the convention. Québec’s contribution to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity asserts our responsible commitment to and solidarity with the convention and the countries that have ratified it and ensures it will be implemented in a meaningful way,” added Québec’s minister of international relations and minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay.
According to the press release, Ms. St-Pierre addressed the opening of the first ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions under the Canada-Québec Agreement Concerning UNESCO. The committee is tasked with developing directives to guide the convention’s implementation. It comprises representatives from 24 countries, including Canada. Ms. St-Pierre’s address is available online (in French only).