April 3, 2009 (2:45 p.m. EDT)
No. 88

Minister Verner Welcomes Suspension of Madagascar from the Institutions of the International Francophonie

The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Privy Council and Minister for La Francophonie, welcomed the decision by the Permanent Council of La Francophonie to suspend Madagascar's participation in the institutions of La Francophonie and to suspend multilateral Francophone cooperation with Madagascar, except for programs that directly benefit civilians or that may contribute to the restoration of democracy.

"We are deeply concerned by the political crisis in Madagascar and, with our partners in the International Organization of La Francophonie, we acknowledge the necessity of supporting the country on its road back to democracy," said the Minister.

The members of the Permanent Council reaffirmed the willingness of the International Organization of La Francophonie to support the restoration of democratic constitutional order in Madagascar and, especially, the holding of free, fair and transparent elections as quickly as possible.

The Council has asked Madagascar's de facto authorities to clearly indicate as soon as possible the schedule and procedures for restoring democracy in accordance with the principles of the rule of law set out in the Bamako Declaration, and to allow unhindered verification of this by international partners.

The issue is still before the Permanent Council of La Francophonie and will be examined in depth at the next ordinary session on April 24, 2009.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lisa Mitchell
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada