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Bern, Press release, 27.05.2010

This morning, the organisers of the XIIIth Summit of the Francophonie have held a joint press conference during which the federal, cantonal and municipal authorities concerned presented the preparations, challenges and the programme to accompany the Summit, which will take place on the 22-24 October 2010 in Montreux, Switzerland.

The Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey, spoke on behalf of the Federal Council about the challenges of the XIIIth Summit of the Francophonie concerning both the political issues that will be debated by the heads of state and government during the negotiations on the “Déclaration de Montreux”, and concerning the preparations for the organisation of the Summit. 

“As host country, Switzerland wants to make the Summit a convivial event, one which will arouse the curiosity and interest of the Swiss general public,” she said. To facilitate this a programme of events is planned for the months in the run-up to the Montreux Summit, entitled “En route vers le XIIIe Sommet”. It will include partnerships with cultural festivals, meetings of academics and other events on the main themes of the International Organisation of Francophonie: democracy and human rights, sustainable development, the French language and cultural diversity.    

The President of the Council of States, Pascal Broulis, spoke on behalf of the Canton of Vaud to express the pride and honour of his constituency to host the XIIIth Francophonie Summit. In his address, Mr Broulis underscored the high quality of the available conference infrastructure which enabled the Canton of Vaud to host major international events in optimal security conditions. “The Canton of Vaud demonstrates once again its tradition of openness which casts the canton in a very attractive light in Switzerland and abroad, and enables it to express its vocation as a host in concrete ways,” he declared. Concerning the events that will be organised by the Canton, Mr Broulis highlighted the Dies Academicus of the University of Lausanne in June - during which the Secretary General of the Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, will receive an honorary doctorate - as well as the exhibition on African literature which will be staged this summer at the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne, and the offer of a “Passeport Musée”, which will give Summit participants access to the cantonal museums free of charge. 

The Mayor of Lausanne, Daniel Brélaz, announced that the International Association of Francophone Mayors (IAFM) will hold its Annual General Meeeting on 20-21 October 2010 in Lausanne in the margins of the XIIIth Summit. “The City of Lausanne looks forward to organising this meeting which will be devoted to the theme: ‘Co-operation between cities and universities in the service of local development’, and to welcoming representatives of approximately 200 cities and city associations from 48 countries,” he told the press. Lausanne has been a member of IAFM since the 1990s and has intensified its contacts with the Association in recent years; since 2008, Lausanne has chaired the commission on “cities and sustainable development”. 

Finally, Pierre Salvi, Mayor of Montreux, expressed his pleasure at the choice of Montreux as the venue to host the Summit and the opportunity that it represents for the people of the region to reach out to the world. In particular, he praised the welcome and the programme that have been organised to facilitate contacts between local people and the delegates and find out about the diversity of the International Organisation of the Francophonie and its actions. In this spirit, a “Village de la Francophonie” will be set up in the covered market and its surroundings. “Every day from the 17th to 24th of October,” he said “it will be possible to tour the world of the Francophonie, to see folkloric productions and discover cultures from all the continents of the world, and to share the produce of the land of Montreux and the Canton of Vaud.”

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