On March 20, 2007 International Day of la Francophonie was celebrated under the theme “Vivre ensemble, différents.” The International Organization of La Francophonie noted that March 20 is a day for celebrating the French language in multiple ways. Last year, some 1,264 events took place in 113 countries. Secretary-general of La Francophonie Abou Diouf stated that this event gives the 200 million French speakers around the world the opportunity to celebrate their common language every year. “It’s also the perfect opportunity for La Francophonie to state its commitment to cultural diversity, as demonstrated by its strong support for the International Convention on Cultural Diversity, which was adopted by UNESCO in 2005 and came into force on March 18, 2007,” he added.
In Canada, minister for La Francophonie and official languages Josée Verner stated that “This day gives us an opportunity to celebrate our attachment to diversity and the richness of the French language and culture, as well as the values of peace, democracy, and respect for human rights, which unite the members of the International Organization of La Francophonie.”
In Québec, minister of international relations and minister responsible for La Francophonie Monique Gagnon-Tremblay declared that “International Day of La Francophonie helps reinforce the feeling of belonging to the international French-speaking community among Quebecers. It’s an opportunity for francophones everywhere to promote their identity by taking part in events organized for the day.” In her press release, Minister Gagnon-Tremblay stated that “the basis of La Francophonie is the rich linguistic heritage and cultural diversity that francophones wish to safeguard.” The minister further noted that “through its actions here and on the world stage, Québec helps promote the French language and defend a world vision grounded in cultural dialog and respect for the diversity of peoples.” Minister Gagnon-Tremblay also mentioned that as the cradle of French-speaking North America, Québec intended to play its role in La Francophonie to the fullest possible extent. “In keeping with that spirit, Québec will welcome the 12th Summit of la Francophonie in autumn 2008, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Québec City,” added the minister.