The Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) has just released its first sustainable development action plan, which sets forth the efforts that the department plans to prioritize in order to contribute to the Government Sustainable Development Strategy for 2008-2013. The MRI’s sustainable development contribution is adapted to the department’s special mission and will mobilize all of its resources, in Québec and abroad.
FAST, which stands for Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade, recently inaugurated its secretariat in Montréal. This international NGO’s mission is to increase sustainable production and trade through financing adapted to small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries. The Ministère des Relations internationales assisted in establishing the secretariat of FAST in Montréal through the Fonds de développement International de Montréal (fund for the international development of Montréal).
The eighth AMERICANA conference, the International Environmental Technology Trade Show that was held from March 17 to 19 in Montreal, hosted some 8,000 participants representing all sectors of activity in the environmental industry, including 400 exhibitors, 230 guest speakers and delegates from 60 countries. AMERICANA 2009 provided an opportunity to take stock of the latest developments in such sectors as water, air, soil, residual materials, energy and sustainable development and to discuss such wide-ranging topics as life cycle analysis, biofuels, environmental management, sustainable development and transportation.
For the third consecutive year, the International Association of Québec Studies, thanks to a donation made by Anne-Marie Boucher, encourages projects by instructors, authors and students intended to teach non-francophones about Québec and its culture through teaching French. This year, five people received a grant.
The memorandum of agreement creating La Francophonie’s Demographic and Statistical Observatory was ratified on March 25 in Montréal in the presence of Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Francophone Organization (OIF). The Observatory’s creation stems from a pledge made by Premier Jean Charest at the 12th Francophone Summit, which was held in Québec City in October 2008.
In 2008, when the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City was celebrated, residents of Mons came to Quebec City with their giants to participate in the New France Festival that takes place every summer.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, celebrated the Moscow-Québec Centre’s 10th anniversary together with Alexey V. Isakov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Montréal, on March 19. The Centre is the result of a cooperation agreement between Laval University and Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.
The National, a United Arab Emirates-based daily newspaper, won 22 awards of excellence, including three silver medals, at the 30th annual Best of Newspaper Design competition. Montréal designer Lucie Lacava and her team designed the layout of the paper, which was launched last year in Abu Dhabi.
In conjunction with International Francophone Day (March 20), Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, paid tribute to singer, songwriter and performer Jean-Pierre Ferland for his outstanding contributions to the French language and Québec culture on the international stage.
Eight Québec productions will be shown at the inaugural Québec Film Festival in Haiti, which will be held in Port-au-Prince from March 19-22 in conjunction with the Quinzaine de la Francophonie. The festival receives support from the Government of Québec.
On Thursday, March 12, about forty Université de Montréal alumni met for the first time at the home of Québec Delegate General in Brussels, Christos Sirros, in response to an invitation from the university’s Rector, Luc Vinet.
In the presence of Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation announced on March 9 that it was donating $100,000 to the Fondation des Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (“Fondation LOJIQ”), to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. The donation provides direct assistance for young entrepreneurs who deploy a formative business project in France.
On March 11, the Government of Québec tabled Bill 3, called “An Act to provide for the implementation of the Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles and similar agreements,” in the National Assembly. The purpose of Bill 3 is to implement the agreement that Québec Premier Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on October 17, 2008. This historic text establishes a procedure for mutual recognition of professional competence, and thus facilitates the issuing of permits to allow individuals to exercise their profession or trade in both France and Québec.
Québec City has been chosen to host the province’s first sustainable tourism event. From March 17 to 19, the International Symposium on Sustainable Tourism Development will be an opportunity for guest speakers from a number of countries and public and private players in the field of tourism development to discuss principles and practices in the field of sustainable tourism.