Prime Minister Harper calls Francophonie Summit a success for Canada and the International Organization of la Francophonie

19 October 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today declared the 12th Francophonie Summit, held October 17 to 19 in Quebec City, a great success.

“While the international financial crisis continues to resonate for each of us, our discussions here at the Summit will contribute to international cooperation on this issue,” said Prime Minister Harper. “This meeting has provided the first major forum for developed and developing states and governments to exchange views on the international crisis.”

The Prime Minister also today announced that Canada will dedicate $100 million to international climate change adaptation to assist those countries that are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, such as least developed countries and small island developing states, particularly in Africa,  the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.

“Our government has always believed that climate change requires a global solution,” said the Prime Minister. “Countries like Canada understand that least developed countries do not have the same resources as developed countries to manage climate change and adaptation.” 

The Prime Minister highlighted a series of initiatives agreed to by Francophonie members following discussions on democracy and the rule of law, economic governance, the environment and the French language:

  • enhancing the means and instruments required to meet the commitments of La Francophonie;

  • facilitating the broadcast of and access to TV5Monde while reaffirming our commitment to the multilateral French-language network, its key role in the international influence and learning of French, and its role as an illustration of cultural diversity;

  • promoting cultural diversity and related international instruments, and advocating multilingualism; and

  • working together within a united Francophonie to provide, through targeted action, added value to peace, the rule of law, cooperation and sustainable development.

    Members also adopted an important resolution on the French language which foresees putting in place the conditions needed to guarantee that the French language is fully recognized on the international stage and in each of the countries of the OIF.

    “Canada strongly supports the necessary reform and modernization of the International Organization of La Francophonie,” said the Prime Minister. “The Quebec City Declaration marks an important step in the increased effectiveness of La Francophonie and its institutions.”

    Finally, the Prime Minister acknowledged the strong spirit of collaboration that characterized the Summit, which he attributed to his co-host Quebec Premier Jean Charest and the Province of Quebec, as well as to Premier Shawn Graham and the Government of New Brunswick.

    Prime Minister Harper, who was participating in his second Francophonie Summit, concluded his presentation by congratulating Madagascar, the host country of the 13th Francophonie Summit in 2010.