Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House to the important work that the Minister of Canadian Heritage accomplished last week at UNESCO's General Conference.
The minister succeeded in obtaining unanimous approval for the drafting of an international convention on cultural diversity. This important step toward the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity in the world crowns five years of international activity by the minister.
In 1998, the Minister of Canadian Heritage launched the International Network on Cultural Policy, whereby national ministers responsible for culture can explore new ways to promote cultural diversity.
Since then, working with the cultural industries, artists and Canada's provincial governments, the minister has taken a lead role on the international stage to advance the idea of a framework convention on cultural diversity and bring other countries onside.
Now, thanks to the minister's efforts, UNESCO will begin the actual drafting and negotiating process leading to the convention on cultural diversity.