As in the past, a large number of Swiss embassies will participate in the Francophonie festival on 20 March. This is celebrated in many capitals throughout the world and is an excellent opportunity for every member country to display its cultural diversity through a wide range of activities. The priority of Swiss embassies this year will be to promote the work of the writer Alice Rivaz (1901-1998). The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) supports projects launched in this context.
In Switzerland, the Francophonie festival will be celebrated in the form of the French Language and Francophonie Week from 20 to 28 March. An impressive total of 70 events, co-ordinated by the Delegation of the French Language, a permanent committee of the Inter-Cantonal Conference of Public Education of Romandie and Ticino (CIIP), will take place in 17 towns throughout Switzerland.
In Bern, the FDFA and several embassies of member countries of Francophonie have joined forces as in the past to present a programme of cinema and music, including a literary concert starring Philippe Djian and Stephan Eicher. The complete programme of the 15th edition of the French Language and francophonie Week can be found on: www.slff.ch.
This year’s 40th anniversary of the International Organisation of Francophonie (IOF), coincides with Switzerland hosting the XIIIth Summit of Francophonie in Montreux from 22 to 24 October. The FDFA will launch the Summit Internet site on 20 March, the international day of Francophonie: www.francophoniemontreux2010.ch.
Switzerland has been a full member of the IOF since 1989, when it joined the Summit of heads and state and government having French in common French ("Francophonie Summit"). The fourth largest contributor of funds after France, Canada and the French-speaking community of Belgium, Switzerland has an influential position within the organisation. Annual Swiss contributions (FDFA) to the IOF total approx. 6.4 million Swiss francs (5.3 million Swiss francs: statutory contribution; 1.1 million Swiss francs: planned voluntary contribution for 2010).
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