Cultural diversity

Newsletter
The Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Vol. 3, no 16, Monday, June 2, 2003

The French prime minister’s visit to Québec

This week, we take another look at the French prime minister’s visit to Québec, during which he reaffirmed the importance of cultural diversity and the need to defend and promote it on the international scene. For more information, visit the “Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations” section of our Website. You can also view papers on cultural diversity, and particularly the role of culture in free trade agreements, in various sections of our Website. To access all this material directly, go to :

IN THIS ISSUE :

Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

Publications and Studies

Other News of Interest



Press Releases, Speeches, and Declarations

La ministre Line Beauchamp participe aux activités entourant la visite du premier ministre Raffarin

Québec, le 23 mai 2003

In discussions between Minister of Culture and Communications Ms Line Beauchamp and Deputy Minister for Cooperation and La Francophonie Mr. Pierre-André Wiltzer during French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s visit to Québec, Ms Beauchamp and Mr. Wiltzer emphasized the importance of protecting cultural diversity and supporting culture. Ms Beauchamp was especially delighted by the UNESCO Executive Board’s decision to put the development of a new international standard-setting instrument on cultural diversity on the agenda for the next General Conference in October 2003. (Available in French only)

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Mm. Jean-Pierre Raffarin et Jean Charest dressent un bilan tres positif de leurs entretiens

Montreal, le 24 mai 2003

At the close of his official visit to Québec, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin maintained that “France and Québec would do well to build on their special relationship and take an innovative approach to tackling the challenges of globalization." The two heads of government notably reaffirmed their intention to continue working together for the adoption of an international instrument on cultural diversity. Mr. Raffarin and Mr. Charest believe that governments must be able to freely determine their cultural policy and support their national culture. (Available in French only)

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La diversité culturelle à l'ordre du jour pour le ministre de la justice du quebec

26 mai 2003

At the opening of the symposium on "Four Centuries of French Heritage in North America” at Université Laval, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec Mr. Marc Bellemare reaffirmed Québec’s determination to protect cultural diversity. Mr. Bellemare stated that "Québec speaks loud and clear in defending the right of governments to freely determine their policies for supporting and promoting their culture. Québec firmly believes that culture must be excluded from all trade liberalization agreements." (Available in French only)

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Allocution du premier Ministre du québec, m. Jean Charest, à l’occasion du dîner d’état offert dans le cadre de la visite du premier Ministre Français

M. Jean-Pierre Raffarin - Québec, le 23 mai 2003

In his speech, Premier Jean Charest asserted that “in a context of unbridled globalization, protecting cultural and linguistic diversity is absolutely essential,” adding that “protecting cultural and linguistic diversity is one of the keys to controlled globalization.” In Mr. Charest’s view, cultural diversity must be considered “as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, together with economic, environmental, and social concerns.” The premier also pointed out that Québec and France are working together to promote the elaboration of the first draft of an international instrument that will guarantee states and governments the right to determine their cultural policies and develop the means to implement them. In this respect, Mr. Charest is particularly pleased that UNESCO recently recognized the importance of cultural diversity and recommended that efforts be continued to develop a new international instrument to protect it. Mr. Charest also noted that “France and Québec both have a rich regional heritage that contributes to their geographic, cultural, and linguistic diversity,” Mr. Charest suggested to Mr. Raffarin that “we can draw upon this heritage to broaden our horizons of cooperation.” For this reason, he hopes that “France and Québec will join forces in the fight for cultural diversity” in a “new France-Québec alliance.“ (Available in French only)

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Allocution du premier ministre du québec, M. Jean Charest, à l’occasion du déjeuner-retour du Premier Ministre de la République Française

M. Jean Pierre Raffarin. Montréal, le 24 mai 2003

Premier Jean Charest stressed that both heads of government must continue their joint efforts to tackle the major challenges facing Québec and France. “I am thinking in particular of cultural diversity and our determination to see the development of an international instrument to guarantee states and governments the right to determine their cultural policies and develop the means to implement them,” he declared. "We will uphold our mutual — I would even say exemplary — commitment to defending and promoting the French language and linguistic diversity on the international stage.” (Available in French only)

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Une nouvelle alliance franco-québécoise

Signée le 23 mai 2003. 2003/05/28

Upon the conclusion of discussions held May 22 and 23, 2003, in Québec City as part of the annual meetings between French and Québec heads of government, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Premier Jean Charest expressed their mutual determination to establish a new France-Québec alliance and adopted this decision report on French and Québec priorities, including the promotion of cultural diversity. (Available in French only)

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Publications and Studies

Culture and trade in the americas: possible approaches in support of development objectives

By Donald R. Mackay, Executive Director. AVRIL 2003, 16 p.

In this study, Mr. Mackay maintains that culture and particularly cultural diversity must be considered in the national development planning process. Reviewing the state of cultural industries in the Americas, he gives an overview of the role of culture in trade agreements while highlighting the various approaches that underpin them. Mr. Mackay also presents the new approach that lays a foundation for promoting a new international legal instrument on cultural diversity actively supported by Canada, Québec, and certain other states. In his conclusion, he suggests certain principles to inspire debate and discussion of the rules, regulatory structures, and government measures for developing and promoting cultural diversity. He notes that countries must first ensure that the ultimate objective is indeed the promotion of cultural diversity rather than a response to the protectionist pressures of specific interest groups. (Available in English only)

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Other News of Interest

Le Québec et la France signent un accord sur la diversité culturelle

Presse Canadienne  24 mai 2003

In this article, Mr. Norman Delisle reports that the French and Québec governments are joining forces to defend cultural diversity on the international scene. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin states in this respect, “For us, cultural diversity is a political project. It is at the heart of our battle.”

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La France et le Québec s'unissent pour défendre la diversité culturelle

Samedi 24 mai 2003

Upon the signing of cooperation agreements by French Prime Minister Raffarin and Québec Premier Charest confirming their desire to defend cultural diversity on the international scene, Mr. Raffarin stated that “France will soon submit various initiatives to UNESCO in order to ensure the survival of cultural diversity despite economic globalization.” The French prime minister also saluted “Québec’s tremendous ability to promote its culture and lead a four-century struggle to defend its values, language, and culture.” (Available in French only)

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Rencontre du premier ministre Français et du premier ministre Québécois

Le 24 mai 2004

In winding up their discussions held May 22 and 23, 2003, in Québec City, Québec Premier Jean Charest and French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin expressed their shared commitment to establish a new France-Québec alliance and adopt a number of important decisions, including one on promoting cultural diversity. (Available in French only)

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Coopération internationale : la France et la Diversité Culturelle

6 mars 2003

What is cultural diversity? How is cultural diversity threatened? What can we do? How can we give cultural diversity force of law? What would be the objectives and scope of a future international agreement on cultural diversity. These are the points this document addresses from a French perspective. It also suggests a timetable for the steps leading to final adoption of an international agreement on cultural diversity at the 2005 UNESCO General Conference. (Available in French only)

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Propos introductifs du President de la Republique Française, M. Jacques Chirac, Lors de la reunion de travail avec les Organisations non gouvernementales dans le cadre de la preparation du sommet du G8 d'evian

Paris, 30 avril 2003

In his speech, French President Jacques Chirac stated that France is in favor of free trade, but not under any conditions. France is looking ahead to the Doha round with confidence and will be especially vigilant in three areas, particularly “cultural goods, which may in no case be considered as mere trade goods.” (Available in French only)

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Point de vue : le pluralisme culturel, un projet politique, par Abdou Diouf

22 mai 2003,

Mr. Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, maintains, “We have agreed that cultural pluralism must be a political goal that provides a foundation for peace and a way to control globalization. We have decided to make it the core of a firm commitment and joint action.” He points out that “in Mexico City, we broadened support for the draft agreement on cultural diversity that a number of countries in various linguistic regions want the next UNESCO General Conference to look at.” In this political undertaking to safeguard cultural pluralism, linguistic and cultural regions have a key role to play on the political scene. For this reason, Mr. Diouf stresses that “cultural pluralism derives notably from the right of states to adopt their own national cultural policies independent of economic trade liberalization.” He also stresses that “it is in this perspective that we decided to support the establishment of a permanent forum for cooperation on cultural pluralism. We intend to build on experiments conducted in cooperation with the PlanetAgora association following the decisions made at the Francophone Summit in Beirut in October 2002.” (Available in French only)

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