Remarks by Edward Nalbandian at the meeting of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie

20 March, 2018

Honourable Mr. Chairman of the National Assembly,
Honourable Chair of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie
Honourable parliamentarians,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

I am very pleased to welcome you in Armenia on the occasion of meeting of the Political Committee, on this special day - March 20, when the whole world celebrates the International Francophonie Day, but also in this exceptional year, when the spirit of La Francophonie is swirling in Armenia.

As you already know, Armenia was chosen as the country to host the Summit of La Francophonie on October 11-12, 2018, and to chair for two years this supreme body of La Francophonie.

It is with a sense of pride that Armenia has welcomed the decision of the Heads of states and governments of La Francophonie to designate Armenia as the host country for the 17th Summit. The choice of Armenia is the sign of solidarity and recognition of its commitment to the Francophonie and its values, ​as well as acknowledgment of Armenia’s efforts towards promoting the Francophonie in our region. This decision was taken following the success of the 31st session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie held in Yerevan in October 2015.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear colleagues,

This meeting gives an opportunity to present to you the priorities outlined by Armenia in the preparatory works for the Summit.

The Summit will be held under the theme of "Living Together"; "Living together, respecting solidarity, humanistic values and diversity as the basis for peace and prosperity in the francophone area."

The theme of “Living together” was chosen taking into consideration the prevailing realities of the area of La Francophonie, or even, I would say, at the international level. We believe that "Living together", respecting the humanist values, which ​​we share, can contribute to strengthening the cohesion of our societies as well as peace and prosperity in the francophone area.

“Living together” is a notion, which the Armenian people know very well: dispersed in more than 100 countries around the world, Armenians have become fully integrated into the societies of their host countries, while maintaining their original identity by highlighting the importance of the ability of living together in a spirit of respect for others, sharing, harmony, solidarity and diversity.

We also expect to work on elaborating a new fundamental document of La Francophonie - the Francophone Pact for Living Together, where, in a comprehensive manner such principles and values ​​of the "Living Together" concept as human rights, democracy, equality of men and women, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, fight against violent extremism which can lead to terrorism, xenophobia, hate speech, intolerance and all forms of discrimination would be enshrined.

In this regard, we hope that the Youth Network of La Francophonie will be involved in this exercise and will bring its contribution to this document.

One of the important events within the framework of the Summit that we are planning to hold is the Economic Forum of La Francophonie. We attach great importance to the consolidation of institutional, professional and Francophone business networks in terms of promoting economic ties and improving business environment. Our objective is to establish a network of francophone businessmen and businesswomen and the organisation of francophone employers.

Eager to enrich the Yerevan Summit with a multidimensional content, we plan to implement a number of initiatives. We want this meeting to be a unique celebration of co-existence and consolidation through a large-scale events, and one of the highlights will be the gala concert with the participation of world-renowned French-speaking artists, scheduled for October 11th.

We are also considering setting up the "Village of La Francophonie". This village will be located in the center of our capital Yerevan, and by the way, the festivities marking the 2800th anniversary of the city will precede the Summit.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

We expect that the results of the Summit will meet the high expectations of La Francophonie. Let the visible results of this summit bring the international recognition to La Francophonie. Let it remain in the memories of all the participants as the great moment of francophone solidarity.

The same I wish for this meeting of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie. Celebrating in its own way the International Francophonie Day, your meeting also coincides with the launch of the Season of La Francophonie in Armenia, in the course of which each year, during two months more than 600 francophone cultural and educational events are organized throughout the whole territory of the Republic.

I wish you every success in your work, in the spirit of the strong relations between the National Assembly of Armenia and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie.

Thank you and welcome.


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