Minister Paradis Takes Part in 40th Session of Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie

July 7, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, is participating today in the 40th annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF), attended by more than 300 parliamentarians from throughout La Francophonie.

“The APF and its members have a fundamental role to play in strengthening democracy, respect for human rights and good governance, as well as in encouraging sustainable economic development, which are the Government of Canada’s priorities in La Francophonie,” said Minister Paradis.

As La Francophonie’s second-largest donor, Canada is one of the organization’s main pillars. Canada plays an active role in each of La Francophonie’s institutions, including the organization’s advisory body, the APF, through its Canadian branch.

This annual meeting of La Francophonie’s parliamentarians is an opportunity for the Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), His Excellency Abdou Diouf, to make one last visit to Ottawa as part of his duties, which will wrap up at the end of this year.

During this morning’s opening ceremony, Minister Paradis recognized Secretary General Diouf for the tremendous work he has done at the head of the OIF over the past 12 years and to thank him for the relationship of trust he has maintained with Canada, as well as for all his support during his three terms.

“Canada is proud that La Francophonie, under the leadership of Secretary General Diouf, has become a modern, effective and relevant multilateral organization in the global governance framework,” said Minister Paradis.

During the discussions that followed, Minister Paradis and Secretary General Diouf discussed the topic of his succession at the head of the OIF. The Minister recalled that Canada, together with the governments of Quebec and New Brunswick, nominated the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada and current UNESCO special envoy to Haiti, as a candidate to succeed him as secretary general. 

Other subjects were also discussed, specifically the preparations for the 15th Summit of La Francophonie, which will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on November 29 and 30, 2014. The theme of the Dakar Summit will be Women and Youth in La Francophonie: Agents for Peace and Development. Among Canada’s priorities at this summit will be the importance of maternal, newborn and child health in Canada’s development policy, as well as promoting an economically dynamic Francophonie. 

Canada is pleased to be providing Senegal with support for organizing the summit and is working closely with its Senegalese partners to make this event a success.

Quick Facts

  • In May 1967, the Association internationale des parlementaires de langue française [international association of French-speaking parliamentarians] was founded in Luxembourg. It gathered together delegates of 23 branches from parliaments in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania around a common objective: promotion of the French language.
  • Today the APF is made up of member branches representing 79 parliaments and interparliamentary organizations from around the globe. The APF has a Canadian branch, whose members are federal parliamentarians, as well as branches in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
  • The Canadian branch is currently at the helm of the APF, with Senator Andrée Champagne as its chair. This is why the APF is holding its 40th session in Ottawa from July 4 to 8, 2014. Pascal Terrasse, a member of France’s parliament, is the Secretary General of the APF.
  • Address by Minister Paradis to Opening Ceremony of 40th Session of Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie: The Role of Canada Within La Francophonie

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Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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