La Francophonie, an area of multilateral cooperation


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Francophonie, an area of multilateral cooperation

La Francophonie is a an institution organizing relations between countries which use the French language. Léopold Sédar Senghor, Habib Bourguiba, Hamani Diori and Norodom Sihanouk were founding fathers of the Cultural and Technical Cooperation Agency which was created in 1970 in Niamey and was the first institution of multilateral Francophonie. It became the Intergovernmental Agency of La Francophonie in 1998 and then the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) in 2005. Its aim is to promote the French language and cooperation between the 88 Member States and Governments. This aim is enshrined in the Charter of La Francophonie, adopted in 1997 at the Hanoi Summit and amended by the Ministerial Conference in 2005 at Antananarivo. Today, La Francophonie also provides a cooperation framework for global issues such as digital matters, gender equality and economic matters. Several other agencies and actors work alongside the OIF.

International Organisation of La Francophonie
Governance bodies of the multilateral Francophonie
Stakeholders of the Charter of La Francophonie
Other stakeholders in multilateral Francophone cooperation
Economic and digital Francophonie
France and La Francophonie

Video : La Francophonie, a common language

The French language in figures

International Organisation of La Francophonie

The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) drives Francophone multilateral cooperation with 88 Member States and Governments (54 full members, 7 associate members and 27 observer members).

The OIF’s work is focused on 4 main areas:
• Promoting the French language and cultural and linguistic diversity;
• Promoting peace, democracy and human rights;
• Supporting education, training, higher education and research;
• Developing economic cooperation to ensure sustainable development.

The OIF headquarters are located in Paris and the organization has 11 external representations placed under the authority of the Secretary General, including 4 to partner international organizations as well as 7 regional offices.

The Platform/Application for the Francophonie Ambassador Network, launched in early 2022, brings together the whole Francophone diplomatic community, offering different functions to facilitate discussions and consultations.

The Secretary General is the political representative of La Francophonie on the international stage and is under the authority of the bodies above. As the keystone of this institutional system, the Secretary General leads the International Organisation of La Francophonie, acting as its legal representative and chairs the Permanent Council of La Francophonie. The Secretary General appoints a Director who implements, directs and manages multilateral intergovernmental cooperation and looks after administrative and financial matters.

At the Yerevan Summit in 2018, Louise Mushikiwabo was appointed as the new Secretary General of La Francophonie. In her first speech, she stated her intention to place La Francophonie under the theme of harmonious coexistence, insisting that the OIF’s action refocus on the areas “in which its added value is real, where its added value is recognized, where its action is expected”, particularly the dissemination of the French language, defence of gender equality, digitalization and commitment to young people.

International Francophonie Day is celebrated worldwide every year on 20 March – the anniversary of the creation of the Cultural and Technical Cooperation Agency, which then became the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
More information on the OIF.