On September 5, 2008, UNESCO director general Koïchiro Matsuura, along with Abdou Diouf, secretary general of the International Organization of La Francophonie, took part in a working breakfast at the invitation of the chair of UNESCO’s French-speaking group, ambassador Gilbert Laurin, Canada’s permanent delegate to UNESCO, and many other members of the French-speaking group.
The UNESCO press release notes that, in his speech, Abdou Diouf “expressed delight at the working relationship between UNESCO and the Francophonie, particularly regarding the implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. He also hailed the work of UNESCO’s group of French-speaking ambassadors.”
The UNESCO director general replied by paying tribute to Abdou Diouf and his work. He also stressed the role played by ambassador Laurin not only as group chair, but as chair of the Committee on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity.
Among other things, Mr. Matsuura stated that “the field of culture was a privileged domain of cooperation between the two organizations.”
“The fact that 32 of the International Organization of La Francophonie’s 55 Member States have ratified the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions shows the Francophonie’s unfailing commitment in this regard,” noted the director general.
To find out more, consult the UNESCO press release.