Jean-François Lisée, the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade (MRIFCE), was in New York City from October 19-22 on his first mission to the United States since taking office. Mr. Lisée used the occasion to present the Québec government’s vision of its relations with the United States and to establish an initial contact with various key actors for Québec.
During his meeting with Jamie Rubin, the Deputy Secretary of the Empire State Development Corporation, the Minister was keen to stress the importance that Québec attaches to the strengthening of its ties with its neighbor.“Québec and the United States share not only a common border but also a common history, values and interests. The Government of Québec is committed to further developing and deepening its economic, political and cultural ties with its American partners, for our mutual benefit,” said Minister Lisée.
The Minister also has the opportunity to meet with Filippe Savadogo, the Permanent Delegate of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie at the United Nations, and with Nelson Messone, the Chair of the Group of Francophone Ambassadors at the UN, with whom he emphasized Québec’s desire to promote the French language in Québec and on the international stage. Mr. Lisée also praised the success of the efforts by members of the Francophonie with regard to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Lastly, the mission was an occasion for the Minister to meet the heads of the Flanders, Catalan and Welsh government offices in New York, with whom he discussed the importance of federated states on the international scene and Québec’s intention to pursue its productive collaboration with the international networks of federated states.