In addressing participants in the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Québec Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women Christine St-Pierre reiterated the importance of implementing the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Here is an excerpt from her speech:
"Modern issues relating to the expression of the diversity of the world's cultures can be summarized as follows: The framework of international trade tends to undermine the ability of states and governments to fulfill their role of supporting culture and defending the interests of their citizens.
If this role were abandoned, the cultural sector would be ruled exclusively by market forces. This would effectively create one single homogenous culture defined entirely by economic pressures, which would be detrimental to 'less profitable' cultures lacking the resources and tools for expression [...].
However, in Québec and around the world, we know that cultural goods and services play a crucial role in identity, social cohesion, democratic life, and increasingly in economic development itself [...].
The Convention therefore stipulates that cultural activities, goods, and services have a dual economic and cultural nature because they convey identity, values, and meanings and must therefore not be treated as solely having commercial value.
As such, it was agreed that the Convention would include a commitment by the signatories to promote its objectives and principles in other international settings. [...] One of the next challenges facing the Parties to the Convention will be to ensure its full implementation by giving life to its content."
The full text of her speech is available in French on the MCCCF website (Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec).