Conclusion of the 26th session of the Ministerial Conference of French-speaking Countries in Montreux

Bern, Press release, 21.10.2010

The 2010 Ministerial Conference of French-speaking Countries concluded its work today, under the aegis of the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Micheline Calmy-Rey, in the run-up to the XIII Francophonie Summit to be held on 23-24 October in Montreux. At this meeting the Ministerial Conference reaffirmed the position of French-speaking countries as a major player in international relations that can act as a forum for consultation, cooperation and influence both before and after discussions and decisions taken in other spheres. It also emphasized the solidarity of French-speaking countries in addressing the new challenges such as sustainable development, education and innovation.

The work of the Ministerial Conference led by the Head of the FDFA Micheline Calmy-Rey was concluded after two days of discussions. These were conducted in a spirit of dialogue, openness and compromise with the preparation of documents of substantial, concrete and measurable content, which will be submitted to the heads of state and government due to meet on 23-24 October in Montreux for the XIII Francophonie Summit. The debates focused on the commitment to be proposed to the Summit with a view to reinforcing the role and position of French-speaking countries in global governance and to developing solidarity between these countries in food security, climate change, biological diversity, education and innovation. The role and development of the French language in international organizations were also discussed. 

The President of the 26th session of the Ministerial Conference presented a very positive summary to the press in Montreux. She said that “French-speaking countries have a very special role to play in the context of multilateral cooperation as they constitute a platform which transcends the logic of groups and regional blocs.” The Head of the FDFA went on to say that “the added value contributed by French-speaking countries is their diversity.” She lauded the topics that were addressed, the quality of the debates and the commitments proposed to the heads of state and government. They are the expression of a common desire to consolidate the instruments that the French-speaking countries make available in the interest of peace, democracy and human rights and to place the work of the XIII Francophonie Summit in a future perspective.  

This Ministerial Conference is part of a summit which Switzerland, as the host country, hopes will be interactive, constructive and convivial, with a rich programme of accompanying events. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the FDFA, will participate actively in the round tables organized in conjunction with the Summit. These will focus in part on the global challenges posed by sustainable development, climate change and biodiversity as well as food security.  

The participants at the Ministerial Conference also decided that Paris would host the 27th session in 2011.


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