In May and June 2008, Secretary General of La Francophonie Abdou Diouf appointed special envoys on the French language, one each of whom has visited Burundi, Greece, Laos, Mozambique, and Romania, and soon another will visit Lebanon. An OIF (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie) press release indicates that these individuals have been tasked with meeting with the senior officials in each state “to show recognition on the part of the Secretary General for their efforts at promoting the French language . . . and to discuss their intentions to promote the French language in their respective countries.”
Michèle Gendreau-Massaloux, former rector of France’s Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), visited Laos May 2 to 5. Canada’s Jean-Louis Roy, the former secretary general of Agence de Coopération culturelle et technique (ACCT) visited Burundi and Mozambique May 21 to 28. Henri Lopès, ambassador of Congo in Paris and writer was in Greece May 27 to 30. Ghassan Salamé, former Lebanese minister of culture, traveled to Romania June 8 to 10. In September, Quebec’s former minister of culture and former minister of international relations Louise Beaudoin will be carrying out a similar mission to Lebanon.
The OIF indicates that the findings of the special envoys will compiled in a report to heads of state and government at their meeting in Québec City in October during the 12th Summit of La Francophonie. The Secretary General, the press release adds, “wished to take the opportunity to salute efforts by some of our Member States and governments to promote the use of French.”