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12 Nov 2012

Québec International Solidarity Days: Off and running!

Gervais L’Heureux, DG of AQOCI; Michèle Asselin, Coordinator, Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO) and opening address moderator; Francisco Whitaker, international guest and speaker; Claude Pinault, Assistant Deputy Minister, MRIFCE; Denis Labelle, Director of the Trois-Rivières solidarity committee and AQOCI President (Photo: Louis-David Lalancette, AQOCI)

Wednesday, November 7 marked the official kick-off in Montréal of the 16th edition of Québec International Solidarity Days, an initiative of the Québec Association of International Cooperation Organizations (AQOCI).

The Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade (MRIFCE), Jean-François Lisée, highlighted the event in a statement at the Québec National Assembly: “Québec International Solidarity Days, which receive financial support from the Department, are an occasion for all of us to reflect on development-related issues.

“I congratulate all those who, through their volunteer work and involvement in Québec International Solidarity Days, will contribute to developing openness to other people among individuals, particularly our youth, and a desire to take action as responsible citizens, both here and abroad,” added the Minister.

A distinguished speaker

Several hundred people gathered in the evening at the Judith-Jasmin Pavilion of the Université du Québec à Montréal to hear the opening address by the co-founder of the World Social Forum and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2006, Francisco Whitaker of Brazil.

In his address entitled Sommes-nous esclaves d’une logique antihumaine? Les chemins pour passer de la complicité à la libération (Are we slaves to an antihuman logic? Paths that lead from complicity to liberation), Mr. Whitaker encouraged the audience to find new ways to expand cooperation and solidarity among people. In passing, he underscored the many initiatives undertaken by Quebecers and international cooperation organizations over the past several years to build a fairer and more united world.

Government support

The Québec government was represented by Claude Pinault, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief of Protocol at the MRIFCE. In his speech, Mr. Pinault reaffirmed the government’s support of international cooperation organizations.

Québec International Solidarity Days run from November 7 to 17 in 11 regions across Québec. This year’s theme is “Faisons les comptes!” (let’s settle accounts). Participants have an opportunity to interact and think of ways to “put the economy in its proper place” while respecting human rights and democratic principles.

JQSI (in French)
AQOCI (in French)

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