Closing remarks of Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan at the 35th ministerial conference of La Francophonie09 October, 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors and personal representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After these two days of rich exchanges, I would like to thank you for your active participation and all the contribution that you have made to the discussions.
The recommendations that we are going to forward to the heads of states and governments of the OIF will reinforce the activity of our organization and will outline the priorities for the coming years.
First of all, I would like to draw your attention to the importance of the documents that we have validated, and particularly the draft Yerevan Declaration on Living Together, as well as the Call of La Francophonie for living together that is going to be launched. The importance and timeliness of this topic should be highlighted.
Indeed, it is important to counter the rise of populism and extremism, the spread of hate speech and intolerance, the growth of inequality and the looming threat of climate change, with respect for peace, democracy and human rights, through the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity and by reinforcing the principle of solidarity, which is of vital importance for the development of equal relations between various segments of the Francophone space.
As I noted yesterday, the approach of “Living Together” must, first of all, apply to the peoples of the Francophone space. Thus, we must listen to our populations and take into consideration their aspirations of living in more just and more humane societies.
I would like to also touch upon the especially fruitful discussions on multilateralism that we have had in the closed session.
The existing partnerships between the OIF and regional and sub-regional organizations, without doubt, highlight the path we must take to give a new impetus to the development of multilateralism.
Of course, we should further reflect on the approaches voiced in our discussions and put them to use.
The applications for membership or the change of status we have received demonstrate once again the attractiveness of La Francophonie. Opening up to the world is one of the latter’s most important virtues. That attractiveness shows that La Francophonie occupies a key place in the international arena.
In light of this, it is important to consider the recommendations made by the Special group of the ad hoc Committee on membership applications, specifically those related to the terms and conditions of accession.
In line with the recommendations of the Special group, we consider it necessary that the dialogue over modernization and reinforcement of the organization’s work, the role and place of observer states and governments, creation of diplomatic missions in France accredited especially to the Francophonie and accession of governments of states not members of the OIF should be continued in view of the ministerial conference in Monaco.
I also welcome the adoption of the Strategy of La Francophonie on the promotion of gender equality, the rights and independence of women and girls. The adoption of this important document puts the pursuit of gender equality at the center of our organization’s priorities.
Armenia is honoured that this Strategy can be adopted at the Yerevan Summit. It has a special meaning for us, as we greatly value the essential role of women in the “Armenian Velvet Revolution”.
I am also happy to announce the launch of the network of Francophone ministers in charge of digital issues, which will take place on October 10 in Yerevan. In this regard, I would like to thank the delegation of Benin for presenting this important initiative for the development of the digital economy.
We would also like to express our appreciation for the draft programme for 2019-2022 submitted to our attention. The adoption of that programme, as well as the 2019-2022 budget, will allow us to further improve the cooperation within La Francophonie for the benefit of member states and governments.
In conclusion, I would like to note that I am confident that the documents that we have validated and will forward to the heads of states and governments of La Francophonie will greatly enrich the acquis of our organization.
I would like to thank you all and extend my special gratitude to the Madame Secretary-General of La Francophonie and the OIF for the work they have accomplished.
With that, I announce the closing of the 35th Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie.