In Québec, the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Ms. Monique Gagnon-Tremblay; the Minister of Culture, Communications, and the Status of Women, Ms. Christine St-Pierre; and the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Mr. Raymond Bachand, have all hailed the successful first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and expressed their delight at Canada’s being elected to the Intergovernmental Committee.
A press release dated June 21, 2007, notes that Québec took part in this first Conference of Parties as indicated in the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Québec concerning the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Michel Audet, the Government of Québec representative on Canada’s permanent delegation to UNESCO, will head the Québec delegation.
The release also quoted Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie Monique Gagnon-Tremblay as saying, “I am happy that Québec was able to make its position clear at this first Conference of Parties. The collaboration between Québec and Canada on the Canadian delegation and between the ministries concerned is a reflection of the historic agreement itself that we signed in May 2006 and how smoothly it was implemented.
“By taking part in the first Conference of Parties, Québec is helping to implement this Convention, which guarantees states and governments the right to adopt and uphold their cultural policies and appropriate support measures. This is a vital instrument for the creation and dissemination of Québec culture,” noted the Minister of Culture, Communications, and the Status of Women, Ms. Christine St-Pierre.
The press release states that the first Conference of Parties marked the official start of work on Convention implementation. Its main aim was to elect the 24 members of the Intergovernmental Committee, the body tasked by the Conference with drafting a proposal for Convention implementation.
Ministers Gagnon-Tremblay, St-Pierre, and Bachand all stressed that Québec intended to continue sharing the fruits of its work on implementing the Convention and actively contribute to ensuring the first session of the Intergovernmental Committee—to be held in Canada in December 2007—was a success.
After mentioning that the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was adopted by UNESCO on October 20, 2005, the press release went on to note that Québec was the world’s first state to approve the Convention, by a unanimous vote of the National Assembly on November 10, 2005. A few days later Canada became the first country to ratify the international treaty, which came into effect on March 18, 2007.