Switzerland in the International organization of La Francophonie

The International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) was created in 1970 to bring French-speaking countries together. It promotes the French language, cultural and linguistic diversity, and democracy and human rights. Switzerland works within it to share its experience as a multilingual French-speaking country, as well as its culture of peace and democracy.

Switzerland has been a member of the IOF since 1996 and is the third-largest contributor to the organisation, providing CHF 4 million annually.Switzerland's main areas of action within la Francophonie concern democracy, peace and human rights, the promotion of International Geneva's digital ecosystem, digital governance, and support for cultural and linguistic plurality.

The Swiss Federal Assembly and la Francophonie

Ten Swiss parliamentarians and twelve cantonal representatives take part in the French-speaking Parliamentary Assembly (FPA).

Summit of la Francophonie

The summit is the highest authority in la Francophonie, and brings together high-level representatives of French-speaking countries. Summits take place every two years in an IOF member state, with discussion centring on a specified topic.

Switzerland hosted the 13th Summit of la Francophonie in Montreux in 2010, focusing on the topic of challenges and future visions for la Francophonie. The 18th Summit was held this year in Djerba on 19 and 20 November.

2022 Djerba Summit

On 19 and 20 November 2022, the island of Djerba in Tunisia hosted the 18th Summit of la Francophonie, whose theme was 'Connectivity in diversity: digital technology, a vector for development and solidarity in the French-speaking world'.

The member states adopted the Djerba Declaration as well as the Declaration on the French language and the linguistic diversity of French-speaking countries.

The secretary-general of la Francophonie, Louise Mushikiwabo, was confirmed for a second term. 

IOF events

Every year, Switzerland and its representations abroad take part in a range of events organised under the auspices of la Francophonie.

These include the International Day of La Francophonie and the Francophone Games, which are held every four years. 

International Day of La Francophonie

The French-speaking world celebrates the International Day of La Francophonie on 20 March every year. In Switzerland the event is celebrated as part of the Week of the French Language and La Francophonie (SLFF), in which several governmental and non-governmental institutions take part. The Conference of Cantonal Education Directors of Western Switzerland and Ticino takes the lead in the management of the SLFF. More than one hundred Swiss embassies and representations abroad supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs take part in events organised for 20 March each year. 

Francophone Games: an artistic and sporting competition

The Francophone Games are targeted at young people and take place every four years, alternating between countries in the northern and southern hemisphere.This artistic and sporting event embodies the values of solidarity, diversity and personal excellence, and helps brings together young people from all over the French-speaking world.

The 2023 Francophone Games will take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and will be attended by young competitors from Switzerland. 

Last update 21.11.2022


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