Vietnam’s Vice President Attends Opening of 18th Francophonie Summit

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan arrived in Djerba city, Tunisia on November 18 (local time) to attend the 18th Francophonie Summit at the invitation of Tunisian President Kais Saied.

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Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan attended the opening of the 18th Francophonie Summit. Photo: VNA
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan attended the opening of the 18th Francophonie Summit. Photo: VNA

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan has attended the opening of the 18th Francophonie Summit in Djerba, Tunisia, on November 19 (local time), Vietnam News Agency reported Sunday.

The summit, usually held once every two years, was initially scheduled to be hosted in 2020, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The summit, themed “Connectivity in diversity – the digital vector of development and solidarity in the French-speaking world,” is taking place on November 19 and 20 with discussions on political and economic situation in the world.

On the occasion, the summit will hold a ceremony marking the 50th founding anniversary of the Francophone Community, elect the General Secretary of the Francophone Community for the 2023-2026 tenure; consider the adoption of many documents such as the Djerba Declaration, the Resolution on crisis situation, escape from crisis and consolidating peace in Francophone space; the Strategic Framework on Francophone Community Cooperation for the 2023-2030 period, and regulations on admission procedures and changes to the community’s membership rules.

Vice President Xuan will deliver a keynote speech proposing comprehensive and long-term solutions to build a united and strong Francophone community. She will also have bilateral meetings with other leaders and heads of delegations during the event.

President of Tunisia Kais Saied, Secretary General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo and Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan. Photo: VNA
President of Tunisia Kais Saied, Secretary General of the International Organisation of la Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo and Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan. Photo: VNA

Opening the summit, President of the host country Kais Saied reiterated Tunisia’s strong commitment to Francophone and to the fundamental values expressed via the French language.

Secretary General of the International Organisation of la Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo highlighted the strong changes of the OIF over the past 50 years which affirmed its important role and position and promoted multilateralism.

She called on countries to work together to define orientations to build an increasingly dynamic and influential Francophone community, turning it into an inclusive digital space while ensuring cultural and language diversity.

Founded in 1970, the Francophone Community groups 88 member states with the goal of sharing French language and universal values for the sake of peace, cooperation, solidarity and sustainable development. The members are from five continents, with about 220 million French speakers out of a population of 890 million.

The community has made efforts to affirm its international position and strengthen relations with international and regional organisations such as the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

From the traditional cultural and technical cooperation, the community has made a strong shift to political activities while culture and language remain a top priority. The safeguarding of cultural diversity and French language at international forums has always been its consistent goal.

The summit, themed “Connectivity in diversity – the digital vector of development and solidarity in the French-speaking world,” is taking place in Tunisia on November 19 and 20.
The summit, themed “Connectivity in diversity – the digital vector of development and solidarity in the French-speaking world,” is taking place in Tunisia on November 19 and 20.

Fully, actively and substantively joining most of the community’s priority issues, Vietnam has been a key Asia-Pacific member that has an important voice in the planning and implementation of the community’s cooperation strategy.

During an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 18th Francophonie Summit, Ambassador Dinh Toan Thang, Permanent Representative of the President to the Permanent Council of the Francophonie (CPF) and OIF, said that there is great potential for Vietnam to increase digital cooperation and investment in the Francophone space.

According to the diplomat, Vietnamese enterprises in the field of digital and information technology have developed very quickly and strongly, demonstrating their ability to reach out to the world, including Francophone member countries.

Notably, Viettel Group is investing in telecommunications systems in a number of Francophone countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Haiti, Cameroun, Burundi, and Romania; while FPT and VNPT have launched many investment activities and exported technology products to foreign countries.

With regards to the role and position of Vietnam in the French-speaking community, Thang affirmed Vietnam has always actively participated in the community’s priority issues, from developing strategies for economic, cultural, education, and health cooperation to peacekeeping and administrative reform.

Vietnam always appreciates the important role and contributions of the OIF at international forums and in enhancing understanding, solidarity and cooperation among its 88 member countries and observers, thereby contributing to maintaining peace and promot development in the world, he noted.

The relationship between Vietnam and the Francophonie is increasingly close and substantive, the ambassador stated.

Vietnam has trade ties with 44 out of 54 OIF member countries. By the end of 2021, there were 16 OIF member nations investing in Vietnam, with 1,450 projects and a total investment of nearly USD 16 billion.

Hannah Nguyen