On June 3, 2008, Ms. Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women, and Official Languages and Minister for La Francophonie and chair of the Conference of Ministers Responsible for TV5MONDE, met with the new chair and new executive director of TV5MONDE, Alain de Pouzilhac and Marie-Christine Saragosse.
Minister Verner took the opportunity to reaffirm her commitment to TV5MONDE, while noting the role that all partners must play so that it remains an important vehicle for the values of the French-speaking world.
“I am pleased today to have met with the new heads of TV5MONDE and to have discussed their vision of the network and the direction they intend to give it,” said Minister Verner. “The Government of Canada believes that TV5MONDE is essential for highlighting the diverse cultures that make up La Francophonie in Canada and abroad.”
This was the first official meeting between Minister Verner and the new heads of TV5MONDE since the reaching of an agreement in principle on April 29. The Canadian Heritage press release stated, among other things, that the agreement in principle will provide for increased broadcasting of Canadian programs on TV5MONDE. “The agreement also recognizes the independence of TV5MONDE as a multilateral and pluralist network, particularly by separating the positions of chair and executive director. It defines the status of TV5MONDE in relation to France and that country's reform of its audiovisual services for audiences abroad.”
According to the news release, the new heads of TV5MONDE took the opportunity “to once again congratulate Canada as chair of the Conference of Ministers on its remarkable efforts during the negotiations that led to the agreement.” “We would like to reiterate to all our partners, including Canada, our desire to work closely with them to ensure the future of TV5MONDE,” said Ms. Saragosse.
The news release states that, “for Canada, the agreement in principle is a practical example of Canadian arguments in favor of cultural diversity and it thereby meets the objectives of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It gives new impetus to TV5MONDE as the network approaches its 25th anniversary in 2009.” The official signing of this agreement and discussions about the TV5MONDE’s new strategic plan will take place as part of the next meeting of Ministers responsible for TV5MONDE, which will be hosted by Canada in fall 2008.