Université du Québec en Outaouais recently awarded an honorary doctorate to Secretary General of La Francophonie Abdou Diouf. Mr. Diouf took the opportunity to quote Senegalese poet, statesman, and educator Léopold Sédar Senghor, who said that “culture is the primary manifestation and the ultimate goal of development.”
Mentioning the importance of “constant research into what unites us rather than what divides us,” Mr. Abdou Diouf stated that “This profound conviction is one that I seek to promote within La Francophonie as it strives to make respect for the diversity of cultural identities—the equal dignity of all cultures—a goal for all societies around the world. It is a key prerequisite to the advent of the world governance I have just invoked, to a more caring form of globalization, and to democracy that is global in nature, united in solidarity on what is essential, and yet mindful of differences.”
Mr. Diouf also inaugurated the Senghor Chair at Université du Québec en Outaouais, which will center its work on the development of geographic territorial communities and the intellectual contributions of Léopold Sédar Senghor to the development of La Francophonie. In all there are ten Senghor Chairs in the French-speaking word, at the universities of Alexandria, Bucharest, Beirut, Cluj-Napoca, Hanoi, Lyon III, Montréal, Ouagadougou, Perpignan, and Yaoundé.
The texts of the speeches made on these occasions are available on the International Organization of La Francophonie website.