17th Francophonie Summit – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Yerevan, 11-12 October 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will accompany President Emmanuel Macron at the 17th Francophonie Summit in Yerevan from October 11 to 12.

In Yerevan, France will reaffirm its goals for La Francophonie, as outlined by President Macon in his speech at the Institut de France on March 20.

This summit will provide an important opportunity to reaffirm the importance we attach to the mission of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie to help promote peace, democracy, human rights and gender equality. La Francophonie represents a unique community of experiences, values and views that will soon bring together more than 700 million women and men around the world.

French is the world’s second most learned language, with more than 125 million students and around 900,000 French language teachers abroad. It is the second most popular language for international information in the media, the third most popular language for business and the fourth most popular language for the Internet. It is a working language of major importance in all international organizations and, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents.

The number of French-speakers should increase significantly in the years to come, and France wants to help strengthen the role of French as a major language for discussions and communication, and give it new momentum as a business language. As the President pointed out, French can be the language that creates tomorrow’s world and can embrace the world’s richness and variety without denying its diverse roots. In this regard La Francophonie must do justice to all the languages that are undermined or isolated by globalization and promote intercultural exchanges and multilingualism.

As Africa is the continent where the international future of the French language will play out, France will ascribe particular importance to appointing the secretary-general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, supporting the candidacy of Louise Mushikiwabo, who is endorsed by the African Union.

At the summit, France will present a strategy for the Organization to promote gender equality and the rights and empowerment of women and children, which are priorities for the President and the Government.

Hosted by Armenia, this summit will feature a tribute to Charles Aznavour, who embodied the bond between France, Armenia, and the French-speaking world.