The twelfth conference of heads and states of governments of countries having the French language in common, generally known as the Sommet de la Francophonie, will bring together the 55 member states of International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and 13 observer states in Québec City, Canada from October 17 to 19. It will be preceded by the 24th session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie.
Canada—which will be chairing the summit—and Québec are the two host governments of the twelfth Sommet de la Francophonie. In a recent press release, the OIF announced that “in an effort to lend these meetings added vibrancy that will encourage interaction and deeper debate, the organizational formula of the twelfth summit has been revamped.” According to the press release, the four issues on the agenda will first be addressed during thematic sessions and round table discussions. Those themes are democracy and the state of law, governance and economic solidarity, the environment, and the French language.
According to the OIF, the official opening ceremony will take place in the afternoon of October 17, followed by the summit on October 18 and 19, which will close with the adoption of the Declaration of Québec. The release also mentions that the heads of states and governments will review the activity report by La Francophonie Secretary General Abdou Diouf and respond to requests for membership (on the part of Latvia and Thailand) and status change (Armenia). They will also choose the country to host the thirteenth summit in 2010.
Some of the proceedings from the summit and the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie will be made available online on the twelfth Sommet de la Francophonie website and onsite at the Québec City Convention Centre, where the summit is being held.
“During the summit, announcements will be made by the Secretary General of La Francophonie and public and private partners regarding major activities aimed at bolstering actions taken by La Francophonie and encouraging the spread of the French language around the world.”
The summit coincides with the 400th anniversary of Québec City, the cradle of La Francophonie in North America. The news release ends by mentioning that 2008 has been filled with events that have drawn hundreds of thousands of francophones from around the world to Québec City.