Switzerland supports democratic transition together with the Francophonie

Bern, Press release, 02.12.2011

Switzerland draws a positive balance of its activities as chair of the Conference of Heads of State and of Government of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (IOF) at the half-way point through its term in office, which lasts until the Kinshasa Summit in October 2012 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the same time, Switzerland will continue to chair the Ministerial Conference of the Francophonie until December 2011.

The 27th session of the Ministerial Conference of the Francophonie was held in Paris on 1-2 December 2011 and was chaired by the President of the Swiss Confederation and head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey. The debates focused on the processes of transition to democracy taking place in some OIF member countries and on the commitments made at the Francophonie Summit in Montreux, drawing a balance on their implementation and follow-up.

Switzerland has made a well appreciated contribution to the support for the Arab Spring and the processes of democratic opening up in other parts of Africa. On 20 September 2011, it organised an informal meeting of Francophonie ministers in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on the democratic transition processes taking place in some French-speaking countries. In particular, Switzerland participated in the support provided by the OIF to the electoral processes and to consolidating the rule of law in the countries in transition.

In conformity with the provisions of the Francophonie Charter, Switzerland has chaired the Ministerial Conference of the Francophonie for a two-year period, since 2009. Within this timeframe it has given priority to the application of the Déclaration de Bamako on democratic practices and to rights and freedoms in the espace francophone.

The Ministerial Conference of the Francophonie brings together the foreign or francophonie affairs ministers of the 56 member and 19 observer countries. The XIVth Francophonie Summit will take place in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 12 to 14 October 2012.

Further information:

The French-Speaking World

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