During the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC on September 21, Premier Jean Charest spoke on behalf of States, provinces and regions in order to emphasize their concrete and crucial contribution in reducing greenhouse gases emissions. The ceremony was presided over by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair and attended by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as well as government and business representatives.
Mediators and ombudsmen from 25 francophone countries converged on Québec City from September 7 to 9. Some 75 officials took part in the sixth convention of the Association des ombudsman et médiateurs de la Francophonie (AOMF), held around the theme “Mediators, politics and justice: Toward equitable access to rights.”
The Québec government recently announced the establishment of a green energy technology development assistance program funded by an $8M budget. The two-year program is intended to stimulate research and innovation, foster an increase in the number of demonstrated new green energy technologies, and contribute to company growth and job creation.
The Montreal World Film Festival, Le Mois de la photo à Montréal and the Festival international de la littérature are some of the international events that will kick off an exciting new season in Montreal.
The details of Québec’s presence at the 37th Festival internacional Cervantino, where it will be the guest of honour in October, were revealed on August 26 by the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, Christine St-Pierre. This announcement was made in Montréal before the Consul General of Mexico, Edgardo Flores Rivas.
The 30th edition of the Québec Language, Culture and Society Internship was a resounding success. Over the years, this three-week program, established and funded by the Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI), has been attended by scores of French teachers from around the world. This summer, 73 people took language and teacher training courses aimed at expanding their knowledge of Québec language, culture and society.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, took part in workshops on energy and climate change held during the 25th TransAmerica Conference on Canadian-American relations, organized by the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange. Held in Ottawa, the conference was attended by Canadian parliamentarians and government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, academics and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Taking advantage of an official trip to Spain, Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, will underline the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Québec government office in Barcelona.
From August 2-5, three members of Québec’s National Assembly, Stéphane Billette (representing the riding of Huntingdon), François Ouimet (Marquette) and François Rebello (La Prairie) played an active role in the annual meeting of the Eastern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments (ERC-CSG), which was held this year in Burlington, Vermont.
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, met with the Consul General of Mexico in Montréal, Edgardo Flores Rivas, on July 28 to reaffirm the importance and extent of relations between Québec and Mexico.
Premier Jean Charest recently announced that Québec and Manitoba will be the first two North American subnational governments to join the Territorial Approach to Climate Change, a new initiative promoted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The announcement was made in Brussels on June 26 during Mr. Charest’s official visit to Europe.
Participating heads of government from Mexico, the US and Canada pledged to strengthen their cooperation and make North America more competitive at the conclusion of the fifth Leaders’ Summit on North American Relations, chaired by Premier Jean Charest in Québec City on June 3.
Twelve international youth mobility projects were singled out for honours on May 27 in the National Assembly, during the first-ever LOJIQ awards ceremony. Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, presented the top prize.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, released the 2009-2014 Action Plan adopted under Québec’s International Policy at a conference lunch hosted on May 25 by the Montréal Council on Foreign Relations (CORIM). In the words of Minister Arcand, “This Action Plan, which is the result of broad collaboration between government departments in various sectors, ensures synergy with respect to international efforts deployed by the government as a whole, and thus bolsters Québec’s capacity for influence and action abroad.”
The Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, is pleased that the National Assembly has passed the Act respecting the creation of the Office Québec-Monde pour la jeunesse. The office will be mandated to develop relations between young people in Québec and their counterparts in territories and countries not covered by one of the three existing youth offices: the Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse, the Office Québec/Wallonie-Bruxelles pour la jeunesse and the Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse.
Québec’s very own Ariane Moffatt has been awarded the 2009 Rapsat-Lelièvre prize for her third album, Tous les sens, featuring a skilful and wide-ranging blend of musical styles and sounds. The singer/songwriter will officially receive her prize in July during the Spa Francofolies in eastern Belgium, at which she will also perform. The ceremony will mark the 25th anniversary of the Rapsat-Lelièvre prize, which honours francophone songwriters in Wallonia-Brussels and Québec.
Only a few weeks after the conclusion of the fifth Summit of the Americas, key inter-American cooperation issues are back in the spotlight at the sixth International Summer School on the Americas, which will be held at Laval University from May 10-16. Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, spoke at the opening ceremony of the summer school, which is organized by the Inter-American Studies Center (ISC) in affiliation with the Institut québécois des hautes études internationales (HEI).
On April 30, David Fetter, US Consul General in Québec City, unveiled a plaque commemorating the 175th anniversary of the US’s consular presence in Québec at a ceremony attended by Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie.
During his recent visit to Montréal for a series of concerts at Place des Arts, French singer Charles Aznavour was made an Officer of the National Order of Québec. His award was presented by Premier Jean Charest on April 25.