Canada and the Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (OAS), as the primary multilateral organization in the Americas, is a key forum for discussions related to cultural policy and cultural diversity. Further to the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City in April 2001, leaders of the hemisphere agreed to a plan of action, which included a chapter on cultural diversity and called on the OAS to act as the primary body responsible for its implementation.
Canadian Heritage is playing a leading role in the implementation of the Summit Plan of Action on Cultural Diversity. The Department organized the First Inter-American Experts Seminar on Cultural Diversity (only available in English and Spanish) in Vancouver in March 2002. This seminar contributed directly to the themes and issues addressed during the First Meeting of Ministers of Cultural and Highest Appropriate Authorities (only available in Spanish), held in Cartagena, Colombia in July 2002.
The Declaration (only available in Spanish) and Action Plan (only available in Spanish) that emerged from this meeting and the creation of an Inter-American Committee on Culture serve as the basis for Canadian Heritage's ongoing commitment in the hemisphere. Canada actively participates in the Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities and chairs the Inter-American Committee on Culture, and will continue to do so until 2007. Accordingly, Canada hosted the Third Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Highest Appropriate Authorities held on November 13 to 15, 2006, in Montreal, Canada.