Minister Josée Verner to Attend Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie

(No. 339 - October 18, 2010 - 6 p.m. ET) The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, will attend the 26th Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie in Montreux, Switzerland, on October 20 and 21, 2010.

Ministers attending the Montreux Conference will decide on priority areas for multilateral francophone action. They will also discuss the place of the French language within international organizations.

“This conference is another opportunity for Canada to promote La Francophonie at the international level,” said Minister Verner. “Our country is proud to play a leadership role within this global organization, which proudly celebrates the cultural and linguistic heritage and common values of member and observer countries from around the world.”

As chair of the 24th and 25th ministerial conferences of La Francophonie, held in Quebec in 2008 and Paris in 2009, Minister Verner played a defining role in their success and excellent outcomes, such as the confirmation of the political role of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF). Earlier this year, Minister Verner was succeeded as chair by Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Since 1991, the annual ministerial conference of La Francophonie has brought together the ministers responsible for La Francophonie from OIF member states and governments. The conference is responsible for preparing for the Francophonie Summit, implementing decisions made at the summit, and recommending new members and observers to the summit.

Following the conference, Minister Verner will attend the 13th Francophonie Summit in Montreux from October 22 to 24, 2010, along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Jimmy Laforge
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie
613-947-3663

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874