Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 January

Armenia is ready to host Francophonie summit – MFA official

Armenia is ready to host Francophonie summit – MFA official

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 6, ARMENPRESS. Francophonie events will take place in Armenia on October 7-12. Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and the general coordinator of the preparatory works for the Summit of La Francophonie Vahagn Melikyan gave an interview to ARMENPRESS.

- Mr. Melikyan, when did the preparatory works kick off and at which point are they now?

- The preparatory works of the 17th summit of the Francophonie kicked off 1.5 years ago. Today we have reached a point when we make the final adjustments and corrections so as we manage to carry out this responsible task with honor. Such a large-scale event has never been held in Armenia. There over 40 Heads of State and Heads of Governments, Foreign ministers, representatives of different levels that have arrived and will arrive in Armenia. We expect 1000s of guests. In short, we are ready to host Francophonie summit.

-What kind of events will be held on October 7-12?

-The summit will take place on October 11-12, but the main events will kick off on October 7. The 105th session of the Permanent Council of Francophonie will take place on October 7. This is the gathering of the representatives of the Francophone countries and one of the 3 bodies. On October 8-9 we will hold the 35th session of the foreign ministers and the economic forum will take place on October 10, as well as the round table of the digital ministers of the Francophone countries and the summit is on October 11-12 with the participation of the Heads of State and Governments. Francophonie Village is also quite a massive event, which will be located at the Freedom Square. This is a unique zone where the representatives of the Francophone countries will present their culture, traditions, cuisine, sights and interesting information about their countries. There will be a stage installed there, where artists and different groups from the universities and colleges of our Francophonie countries will perform. I will not open the brackets fully in order to preserve excitement. The entry is free for all and the Francophonie Village will start operating from October 7, but the official opening ceremony will take place on October 9 with the participation of Armenian FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and OIF Secretary General Michaëlle Jean.

We have organized a major gala concert on October 11 at the Republican Square where the entry is free also for our public and this concert will be unprecedented by its scale and representation.

To the question how many guests are expected to arrive, Vahagn Melikyan said that they expect 3500 people, which is a record high number compared with the previous 16 summits, adding that the recent developments in Armenia have raised the interest towards Armenia.

The general coordinator of the preparatory works for the Summit of La Francophonie said that October 11-12 are non-working days in Armenia in order to ensure the movement of the delegations, as well as the people.

Yerevan is hosting the XVII International Organisation of La Francophonie summit October 7-12. Armenia is a member of the organization since 2008. The International Organisation of La Francophonie represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language. They also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. The French language and its humanist values represent the two cornerstones on which the International Organisation of La Francophonie is based. The International Organisation of La Francophonie was created in 1970. Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 84 member states and governments (58 members and 26 observers), which together represent over one-third of the United Nations’ member states and account for a population of over 900 million people, including 274 million French speakers.

OIF organizes political activities and actions of multilateral cooperation that benefit French-speaking populations. Its actions respect cultural and linguistic diversity and serve to promote the French language, peace and sustainable development. IOF has concluded 33 cooperation agreements with international and regional organisations and has established permanent dialogue between the major international linguistic zones (the English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Arab-speaking zones).

The IOF has its head office in Paris as well as four permanent representations in Addis Ababa (at the African Union and at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa), in Brussels (at the European Union), in New York and in Geneva (at the UN). It has three regional offices (West Africa ; Central Africa and Indian Ocean ; Asia-Pacific) located respectively in Lomé (Togo), Libreville (Gabon) and Hanoi (Vietnam) and two regional antennas in Bucharest (Romania) and in Port-au-Prince (Haiti). Alongside the IOF, the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie and the four direct operators are responsible for implementing the programs decided at the Summits.

The four direct operators are : the Academic Agency of La Francophonie, TV5Monde, the International Association of Francophone Mayors and The Senghor University of Alexandria. 58 Member States and Governments : Albania, Principality of Andorra, Armenia, Kingdom of Belgium, French Community of Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Canada-New-Brunswick, Canada-Quebec, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, , Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Moldova, Monaco, Niger, New-Caledonia, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Säo Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Vietnam. 26 Observers : Argentina, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada-Ontario, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Montenegro, Mozambique, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

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