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.
Michel Bonsaint has been the Québec Government representative at the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO since September 17, 2019.
Prior to this appointment, he has held various positions at the Québec National Assembly since November 1989 and served as Secretary General from September 2010 to September 2019.
Throughout his career, Mr. Bonsaint has been actively involved in consolidating democratic institutions, by participating in several international cooperation initiatives within the French-speaking world mainly in Africa, but also in Asia and in Haiti. This has required him to work closely with the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, Senghor University in Alexandria (Egypt) and the Chair of Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions at Laval University in Québec City (Canada).
Also in a democratic institution consolidation perspective, Mr. Bonsaint coordinated the drafting of Québec’s Parliamentary Procedure, which was the province’s first reference work on this issue. He also contributed to the creation of the Chair of Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions at Laval University and from 2005 to 2010 taught a course on how democratic institutions work at Laval University’s Faculty of Law. Mr. Bonsaint has also been a guest speaker at various events on the subject of how Parliaments are managed as well as on their fundamental role in the governance of States.
Michel Bonsaint holds a bachelor’s degree in Law and a master’s degree in Public Law. He is also a member of the Québec Bar.