March 20, 2013 - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today issued the following statement in honour of the International Day of La Francophonie:
“The International Day of La Francophonie gives us the opportunity to celebrate our commitment to not only the French language and the rich and diverse francophone culture but also the values of peace, democracy and respect for human rights that unite all members of the International Organization of La Francophonie. As a founding member of the organization, Canada has repeatedly demonstrated steadfast support for it.
“The French language cannot be praised enough. It brings us closer together and differentiates us, francophones and francophiles alike, across Canada and around the world.
“This year, I look forward to celebrating this very special day in Paris, where I will be attending the Forum mondial des femmes francophones [world forum of francophone women], an event that brings together a number of women from very different backgrounds. For francophone women, including Canadians, this event is an opportunity to discuss visibility, equality and solidarity, values that are integral to the francophone community.
“As such, I would like to acknowledge the leadership of my French counterpart, Yamina Benguigui, who since her appointment as Minister Delegate for Francophony, attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has made the protection of the rights of women a priority for French diplomacy.
“This year, La Francophonie is focusing on its members’ economic development and strengthening. Canada wants to make a substantial, sustainable contribution to the development of the economic dimension of La Francophonie.
“I wish you all an excellent International Day of La Francophonie.”
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Jean-Christophe de le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI