Approximately 250 delegates took part in the 50th annual general meeting of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU), which was held from May 6-8 in Québec City, a UNESCO world heritage site. In his remarks at the event, Premier Jean Charest reaffirmed Québec’s commitment to UNESCO.
“We can take pride in the abiding commitment of Québec civil society organizations and the active participation of the Government of Québec in the efforts of UNESCO, an international organization operating within its areas of jurisdiction,” said Mr. Charest.
The Premier chaired the opening session, which was also attended by Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women; Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks; Michel Audet, Québec’s representative within Canada’s Delegation to UNESCO; and André Bachand, Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.
Québec and UNESCO
The province of Québec is home to two UNESCO world heritage sites: Québec City’s Old Town (Vieux Québec) and Miguasha National Park in the Gaspé region. The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OVPM) is headquartered in Québec City, while seven of Canada’s 10 UNESCO chairs and four UNESCO world biosphere reserves are located in the province. In addition, the UNESCO Associated Schools Network includes 11 Québec-based educational institutions, while Montréal—the only UNESCO City of Design in North America—is home to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics.
“All of these important examples of official UNESCO recognition contribute to the accomplishment of the organization’s mission,” said Mr. Charest. He also noted that the Government of Québec would be continuing its invaluable efforts with the federal government aimed at ensuring effective implementation of the Québec-Canada UNESCO agreement.
The agreement is historically significant by virtue of the fact that it recognizes that “the specificity of Québec leads it to play a special role internationally” and recognizes Québec’s formal role within a UN organization for the very first time.
The CCU provides a forum for the federal and provincial governments and civil society organizations to promote Canada’s participation in UNESCO activities in the areas of education, natural sciences, culture and communications.
Canadian Commission for UNESCO
Québec’s representation within Canada’s permanent delegation to UNESCO