Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

23rd session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie—Ministers from the Francophonie hold a debate on the French language, a solidarity tool that can also promote cultural and linguistic diversity

At the 23rd session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie (CMF) chaired by Cristian Preda, the personal representative of the president of Romania, ministers from 55 states and member governments of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and 13 observer countries met in Vientiane, Laos, from November 20 to 21, 2007.

OIF notes that among other things the ministers passed the 2008 budget as well as the new schedule of statutory contributions from member states and governments, based on the principles of solidarity and fairness. “The states and governments reaffirmed their commitment to the program’s implementation and expressed a desire for further recentering,” noted OIF.

The OIF press release goes on to state that in the debates on the French language—“a solidarity tool that can also promote cultural and linguistic diversity”—the ministers invited the states and governments of the Francophonie in a resolution to continue to offer assistance and financial support to current and future projects to promote the French language. “After noting that the French language, solidarity, and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity were the founding principles of the Francophonie, participants stressed the importance of making learning French an attractive proposition for young people in French-speaking countries.”

OIF notes that all states reiterated their commitment to the ratification and implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and welcomed news that Laos had become the 39th member state of the organization to ratify the text.

At the conference end, according to the press release, the Romanian president’s personal representative, Cristian Preda, turned over the ministerial conference chair to the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, as the 12th Francophonie Summit will be held from October 17 to 19, 2008, in Québec City, Canada. Minister Bernier and Québec’s Minister of International Relations Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, who will cohost the summit, noted they hoped to enliven the formula by making exchanges between heads of state and government more engaging and direct.

To find out more, we invite you to consult the full text of the OIF press release (French only).