France congratulates Louise Mushikiwabo, who took office today, Thursday, January 3, 2019, as secretary general of La Francophonie. We believe she will give new impetus to the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF), which plays an important role in spreading the French language and francophone values in support of peace, democracy, human rights and gender equality.
This is a pivotal time for the OIF and France would like to support it in its future transformations. These will notably be discussed at the next summit in Tunis in 2020, when we will celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. While the number of French speakers will increase sharply in the coming years, the challenge for the OIF will be to strengthen the French language’s role as a major language of exchange and communication and to give it new impetus as a language of business. As President Macron reaffirmed, French can be the language that defines the world of tomorrow, embracing the richness and variety of the world without sacrificing its diverse roots. In this respect, France must support all languages that are weakened or isolated as a result of globalization, and promote intercultural exchanges and multilingualism.
As we enter a transition phase, France would like to express its heartfelt thanks to outgoing Secretary General Michaëlle Jean for her work during her four-year term in support of the Francophone community.