Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Antananarivo, Madagascar, November 23, 2005 – 2005/11/23
Following its 21st session in Madagascar on November 22 and 23, the Francophone Ministerial Conference (CMF) urged Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) member states to immediately ratify the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which was adopted by an overwhelming majority of UNESCO member states at the 33rd General Conference plenary in October 2005 in Paris. Speaking at the closing press conference, Burkinan foreign affairs minister Youssouf Ouédraogo indicated that OIF wished to see the Convention rapidly come into effect: “The CMF expressed its interest in this Convention by adopting a special resolution calling on OIF member states to immediately ratify it. We hope to rapidly reach the quota of 30 ratifications required for the Convention to take effect. The Francophonie believes cultural diversity is vital. It worked hard to promote this text, which it enthusiastically defended on many occasions,” he stated.
OIF secretary-general Abdou Diouf particularly stressed the need for legislative ratification before the next OIF summit in Bucharest, Romania in September 2006.
Québec minister of international relations and minister responsible for La Francophonie Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, who took part in the CMF, encouraged her francophone counterparts to make every effort to secure ratification of the Convention by as many countries as possible. She noted that on November 10, the Québec National Assembly was the first to unanimously approve a motion on the UNESCO Convention and that “at least 30 countries must ratify the Convention for it to take effect, but ratification by the 60 some member states of the Francophonie can make all the difference with regard to its authority.”
The Francophonie includes 53 states and governments, including 29 African countries, 11 European Union member countries, and 10 “observer” countries, most in Eastern Europe.