Minister Cannon Announces Accreditation of Canada’s Representative to the African Union

(No. 356 - November 26, 2009 - 2:05 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the accreditation of Michèle Lévesque as Representative of Canada to the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. Ms. Lévesque is currently serving as Canadian ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Djibouti. She presented her credential letters to Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, on Monday, November 16, 2009.

"The accreditation of Ambassador Lévesque to the African Union sends a clear signal to the region that Canada is committed to deepening its relationship with the organization in areas such as peace and security, conflict resolution, good governance and economic development," said Minister Cannon. "She will also play an important role in advancing Canada’s current engagement and increasing our partnership in these key areas.

"The African Union plays a leadership role across the African continent and remains a valuable international partner for Canada."

For more information on the organization, consult the African Union website.

- 30 -

A biographical note follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

Biographical Note

Michèle Lévesque (BA [Arts], University of Ottawa, 1975) joined the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1984. She had previously worked with the International Development Research Centre from 1977 to 1979, and with the United Nations in New York from 1981 to 1983. With CIDA, Ms. Lévesque served in the International Non-Governmental Organizations Division and the Multilateral Cooperation Division, where she focused on issues related to the UN and La Francophonie. In 1988, she was seconded to the Privy Council Office, where she served in the Government Operations and Work Relations Secretariat, as well as the Foreign and Defence Affairs Secretariat. Returning to CIDA in 1991, Ms. Lévesque supervised consultations on the agency’s management examination. From 1992 to 1998, she served as director and, subsequently, director general of the International Humanitarian Assistance Division. In 1998, she was named Canada’s ambassador to Senegal, a post she occupied until 2001. Upon her return to Canada, she worked as undersecretary of the Policy, Program and Protocol Branch with the Office of the Governor General, before being appointed ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire. Previous to her current appointment as ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, she served as ambassador to Morocco.