In a press release dated June 20, 2007, the Honorable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, expressed her delight at Canada’s election to the Intergovernmental Committee under the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Canada was elected to the Committee at the first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention June 18 to 20, 2007, at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France.
“ Canada's election to the Intergovernmental Committee bears witness to the unstinting work performed by the federal government with the Government of Québec, the provinces and territories, and civil society to promote the diversity of cultural expressions around the world,” said Minister Oda. “As a member of the Committee, Canada intends to continue working together with its partners to ensure that the Convention is implemented quickly and effectively. I am also proud to note that Member Parties have accepted Canada’s offer to host the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee in Ottawa.”
The press release continues, “Under the Canada-Québec Agreement Concerning UNESCO, which was signed on May 5, 2006, the Government of Canada is pleased to note the participation of the Government of Québec within the Canadian delegation. The agreement gives a formal role to Québec in this important international forum by providing for the Government of Québec to have a permanent representative on Canada’s permanent delegation to UNESCO.”
Noting that the Intergovernmental Committee, consisting of representatives of 24 Party States to the Convention, is mandated to promote the Convention and undertake follow-up of its implementation, the release continues, “The election of Canada will enable it to work with other Committee members to establish the International Fund for Cultural Diversity, which will help to achieve the objectives of the Convention. Canada has stated that it intends to contribute to the Fund once it is established.”