Mission to New York : A first for Quebec at the UN and high-level meetings in New York

New York, September 23, 2013 - While attending an International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) ministerial meeting, Jean-François Lisée, Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade (MRIFCE), took advantage of his time in New York to lead a 48-hour mission aimed at highlighting and giving new impetus to Quebec–New York State relations.

A first international meeting for Quebec

For the first time ever, Quebec, represented by Minister Lisée, was invited to take part in an IOF ministerial meeting, held during the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly. The Minister addressed a range of subjects including efforts toward democratic transition in Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali, Quebec's work regarding crisis and conflict resolution and the importance of strengthening La Francophonie's role in protecting women's rights, an issue the Marois government takes to heart, as stated at the 14th Summit of La Francophonie.

The Minister also took the opportunity to continue the dialogue he initiated with his African counterparts on his most recent economic mission to Africa. With Minister Christian Paradis, he discussed Quebec's concerns regarding Haiti and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The importance of Quebec–New York State relations

During his visit to New York, the minister held a series of high-level political and economic meetings to reiterate the importance of Quebec's relationship with the state. The State of New York is Quebec's main trading partner in the United States and has been identified as a priority for the continued development of mutually beneficial relations in the area.

The Minister of International Relations and External Trade had the opportunity to meet with the state's Lieutenant Governor, Robert Duffy, with whom he discussed a number of issues relating to the economy, energy and transport. Many more bilateral talks covering the same issues with some of New York's senior public servants revealed the extent to which Quebec is seen as a reliable and dynamic partner.

"The United States and in particular the State of New York are of great importance to Quebec's international relations. I wanted to come back here because I thought we really needed to make it clear that we have every intention to maintain and even strengthen our political and commercial ties. From my meeting with Lieutenant Governor Duffy, I've gathered that the enthusiasm is mutual," said Lisée.

Finally, Lisée met with Quebec businesses taking part in Advertising Week, an international gathering of marketing and communications leaders from around the world.

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Source :
Caroline Julie Fortin
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade
418 649-2319

Information :
Guillaume Sarra-Bournet
Communications Advisor
Direction des communications
418 649-2400 poste 57277

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