The May 5, 2006 agreement between the Government of Québec and the Government of Canada concerning the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) was an unprecedented step forward, placing it among the most decisive initiatives in Québec’s international relations history. The Québec Government Representative in the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO is mandated to:
Promote the interests of the Government of Québec in matters of education, culture, scientific development and information society within the international community.
Improve government positions through strategic actions drawing on the network of bilateral and multilateral relations of Québec diplomacy.
Communicate and defend positions maintained by the Government of Québec in various decision-making and advisory bodies of UNESCO concerning strategic issues.
Promote and develop the expertise of the Government of Québec and civil partnership in UNESCO’s fields of activity and in reaching sustainable development targets.
Develop and maintain institutional relations with delegations from UNESCO Member States.
Actively participate in the work and activities of UNESCO representative groups such as La Francophonie and the Commonwealth.
Contribute to the implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Julie Miville-Dechêne has been the Québec Government Representative in the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO since August 22, 2016. She previously served a five-year term as President of the Council on the Status of Women. In that capacity, Ms. Miville-Dechêne advised the government in addition to heading and contributing to numerous research reports on gender equality issues, including prostitution, “honour”-based violence and surrogate mothers. Prior to presiding over the Council on the Status of Women, Ms. Miville-Dechêne was a journalist at Radio-Canada, the Canadian public radio and television broadcaster, for over 25 years. She was a television news service and public affairs program correspondent in Washington, Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal consecutively. She ended her career in the media when she was appointed ombudsman for Radio-Canada in 2007. She was the first woman to hold this prestigious position.
Ms. Miville-Dechêne is the recipient of the Reconnaissance UQÀM Award, the Raymond-Charette Award for the exceptional quality of her French in broadcast journalism and the New York Festivals Award for her report on children and terrorism, Les enfants et le terrorisme.
She also holds a Master’s Degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York, a graduate degree in conflict prevention and resolution from Université de Sherbrooke, and a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from Université du Québec à Montréal.