Vietnam steps up cooperation with Francophone organization

(VOV) -Vietnam would do its best to make further contributions and strengthen cooperation with the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF), affirmed State Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan.

Doan made the commitment at the opening ceremony of the 15th Francophone Summit in Dakar, Senegal on November 29 with the participation of 28 senior leaders of 77 IOF member countries and representatives of many international organizations and media agencies.

vietnam steps up cooperation with francophone organization hinh 0

Delegates at the summit which themed “Women and youth: vectors for peace, actors of development”, focused their discussions on the major role played by women and young people, especially in the current climate of economic difficulties and political tension. They are expected to draw up specific initiatives aimed at tackling numerous social, economic and political challenges.

As the only representative of the Asia-Pacific region, Vice President Doan took an opportunity to deliver her speech at the opening ceremony of the Summit.

She voiced her concern over complicated situation in politics and security in the world, especially sovereignty disputes, terrorism, climate change, poverty, and epidemics.

Doan called on the Francophone community to boost solidarity, and make greater joint efforts in response to these challenges.

She stressed the need to settling disputes and conflicts via peaceful negotiations and cooperation, and expressed thanks for the Francophone community’s strong support for Vietnam and other ASEAN members to deal with disputes in the East Sea in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.

The Vietnamese leader laid emphasis on mobilizing resources to overcome crisis, eliminate poverty, and combat epidemics, as well as boosting the restructuring of economy and cooperation among IOF member countries for peace and prosperity.

Doan also praised the role of women and youth in safeguarding peace, ensuring security and facilitating socio-economic development, and shared Vietnam’s experience in promoting gender equality.

She asked the Francophone community to give priority to women’s rights and women and young people’s empowerment, particularly those of female entrepreneurs, to enable them to join politic, economic, and social activities.

Doan hoped the IOF would tighten relations with the Asia-Pacific region and vowed to do her utmost to enhancing cooperation with the Organization in the future.

She reiterated Vietnam’s consistent foreign policy of independence and self-reliance for peace, cooperation, development and international integration.

Doan also took this occasion to appreciate huge contributions of IOF Secretary General Abdou Diouf to the development of the Francophone community over the past years.

A few facts and figures about Francophonie:

•          The IOF, founded in 1970, brings together 77 Member States and Governments and IOF observers which have the French language in common.

•          The Summit of heads of state meets every two years to decide on the admission of new members, define Francophonie’s direction in a ten-year strategic plan in order to maintain its worldwide influence, and elect the Secretary General of Francophonie.

•          220 million – this is the number of French-speaking people worldwide (Observatoire de la langue française), which is estimated to rise to 700 million in 2050, 85% of whom will live in Africa (Natixis, 2014) on the African continent.