Opening of the Cultures et Développements Exhibit
Paris, Monday, October 5, 2009
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I am delighted that my visit to UNESCO today has afforded me the opportunity to take part in the official opening of the Cultures et Développements exhibit. You are certainly right to emphasize the plural.
Because, as I said earlier today before UNESCO’s Executive Board, the world’s cultures represent our quest for meaning and unique contributions to the heritage of humanity, which we must protect, celebrate and preserve for future generations.
Canada supports this vision of cultures as bastions of thought against the uniformity and commercialization driving us toward the globalization of markets.
Canada contains the world, and it is our profound belief that the dialogue of cultures serves as a catalyst for convergence, new belongings and solidarities based on values we all share, at a time when the challenges we are facing affect every man, woman and child on Earth.
That is why Canada so passionately defended the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which we consider an historic first step toward recognizing an international cultural right.
In closing, I applaud this initiative by UNESCO to put together an exhibit that showcases our differences as opportunities for encounter and sources of renewal for the peoples of the world.