Premier Pauline Marois met privately on March 7 with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova who was in Québec City to receive an honorary doctorate from Université Laval.
The two women discussed Québec’s participation in the work carried out by UNESCO. In speaking with the Director-General, Ms. Marois emphasized Québec’s role as a non-sovereign state.
“Québec must seize every opportunity available to play a role and make its voice heard internationally. UNESCO provides us with an exceptional forum in this regard and we earnestly hope to be able to continue to contribute to it in the future,” said the Premier.
Québec participates in UNESCO’s work related to education, culture, the diversity of cultural expressions and science. Concerning education, Québec closely follows activities pertaining to open educational resources (OERs), adult training and the integration of children in difficulty. It also contributes significantly to promoting UNESCO Chairs, particularly since 10 of the UN organization’s 14 Chairs in Canada are in Québec.
Regarding culture, Pauline Marois reiterated to Ms. Bokova that Québec’s priority is the implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. “In this era of accelerated globalization, protecting national cultures must be a priority, for it is through culture and its diverse forms of expression that a people forges its identity and shapes its future. Québec has played an important role since work began on implementing the Convention and we intend to continue our efforts along those lines,” added Ms. Marois.