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1 Apr 2013

Mission to Paris by Premier Jean Charest

Mr. Charest and Mr. Diouf in Paris (Photo : ©Patrick Lazic)

Québec Premier Jean Charest ended a three-day mission to Paris on March 16 with a lecture at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI). He addressed an audience of about 200 people on the topic “Québec on the international scene: issues and perspectives.”

Mr. Charest explained the basis for Québec’s international relations and the initiatives the government is spearheading internationally as a federated state. Focusing on economic development and wealth creation, the initiatives seek to ensure the international visibility and sustainability of Québec’s social programs. The Premier alluded to decentralized cooperation, which resulted in Québec’s signing action plans with six French regions. He also mentioned Québec’s involvement in the fight against climate change, which is especially evident through its participation in the Climate Group.

Meeting with Abdou Diouf

Mr. Charest also met with the Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf. The two men discussed the French Language World Forum scheduled for July 2 to 6, 2012 in Québec City. “This will be an opportunity to talk about the French language in an environment different from that of summits,” said Mr. Charest. “We will discuss the scientific and cultural sectors, as well as the use of French by international organizations.” Mr. Diouf confirmed that he will attend the event in its entirety.

Special performance of Belles-sœurs

That evening, the Premier attended a special performance of Belles-Soeurs, the Musical at the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris. Numerous key figures from Québec’s and France’s political, economic and cultural communities attended. In his address, Mr. Charest noted the importance of Michel Tremblay’s play: “In Québec dramaturgy, there is a before and after Les Belles-Soeurs.” The play has been translated into over 20 languages and staged in 25 countries since its creation in 1968. It is performed more than any other Québec play. Directed by René Richard Cyr and with a musical score by Daniel Bélanger, the all-Québec production runs in Paris through April 7.
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