The May 5, 2006 agreement between the Government of Québec and the Government of Canada concerning the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) was an unprecedented step forward, placing it among the most decisive initiatives in Québec’s international relations history. The Québec Government Representative in the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO is mandated to:
Promote the interests of the Government of Québec in matters of education, culture, scientific development and information society within the international community.
Improve government positions through strategic actions drawing on the network of bilateral and multilateral relations of Québec diplomacy.
Communicate and defend positions maintained by the Government of Québec in various decision-making and advisory bodies of UNESCO concerning strategic issues.
Promote and develop the expertise of the Government of Québec and civil partnership in UNESCO’s fields of activity and in reaching sustainable development targets.
Develop and maintain institutional relations with delegations from UNESCO Member States.
Actively participate in the work and activities of UNESCO representative groups such as La Francophonie and the Commonwealth.
Contribute to the implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Maria Mourani was appointed the Québec Government Representative within the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO on October 25, 2017. At the time of her appointment she was President and Founder of Mourani-Criminologie.
A Member of Parliament from 2006 to 2015, Ms. Mourani acted as critic for public safety and national security, justice, Canadian heritage, status of women and human rights. She was the first woman of Lebanese origin to sit in the Canadian House of Commons. In 2014, she was decorated with the Presidential Medal of the Diaspora by the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants.
Before beginning her political career, she was a teaching assistant and research officer at Université de Montréal from 2001 to 2004. She also worked as a parole officer for Correctional Service Canada and as a rehabilitation officer with Centres jeunesse de Montréal from 1999 to 2002.
A sociologist, criminologist, author and researcher, Ms. Mourani takes a keen interest in youth crime. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in clinical criminology and a Master’s Degree in sociology from Université de Montréal. She has published several books and articles and has presented a number of conference papers. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at the University of Ottawa on becoming jihadist in Western countries, particularly in Canada, France and Belgium.