On March 20, Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian delivered a speech at the Yerevan session of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie.
The session of the Political Committee, attended by high-level delegations from 27 countries of La Francophonie, was inaugurated by the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Ara Babloyan.
In his speech, Edward Nalbandian congratulated the attendees on the occasion of the International Day of La Francophonie and presented in detail the preparations for the Francophonie Summit, which will be held in Yerevan in October, and events to be organized within that framework.
The full text of Minister Nalbandian’s speech is below:
Mr. President of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
I am very pleased to greet you in Armenia at the meeting of the Political Committee in Yerevan, on March 20, where the whole world celebrates the International Day of Francophonie, but also in this exceptional year under the sign of the Francophonie in Armenia.
As you know, Armenia was chosen to host the Francophonie Summit on October 11 and 12, 2018, and to chair this supreme body of the francophone family for a period of two years.
It is with a sense of pride that Armenia has welcomed the decision of the Heads of State and Government of La Francophonie to designate Armenia as the host country of the XVIIth Summit. The choice of Armenia was a mark of solidarity and recognition of its commitment to serving the Francophonie and its values and its action to promote the Francophonie in our region. This decision was taken after the success of the 31st session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie held in Yerevan in October 2015.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,
This meeting gives me the opportunity to present to you the outline drawn by Armenia in the preparatory work for the next Summit.
First, its general theme, “Living together”; “Living together in solidarity, sharing humanistic values and respect for diversity: Source of peace and prosperity for the Francophone space”.
The theme of living together was chosen taking into consideration the prevailing context within the Francophone space – I would say even at the international level. We believe that “living together” around the humanist values we share can contribute to strengthening the cohesion of our societies and peace and foster prosperity in the francophone world. Living together is also a notion that the Armenian people are very familiar with: dispersed in more than 100 countries of the world, Armenians have become fully integrated into the societies of their host countries while maintaining their attachment to their original identity by highlighting the importance of this ability to live together in respect for others, in a spirit of sharing, harmony and solidarity diversity.
We intend to develop a reference document of La Francophonie – A Francophone Pact for Living Together – that would enable us to establish the principles and values that govern it: human rights, democracy, gender equality, the dialogue of cultures and religions, the fight against violent extremism that can lead to terrorism, xenophobia, hate speech, intolerance and all forms of discrimination. In this regard, we hope that the Francophonie Youth Network will be involved in this exercise and contribute to this document.
One of the important events at the summit we are planning to hold is the Francophonie Economic Forum. We attach great importance to the consolidation of institutional, professional and Francophone business networks to promote economic relations and improve the business environment. Our objective is to create during the summit a network of French-speaking businesswomen and employers’ organizations.
Eager to give the Yerevan Summit a multi-dimensional wealth, we are considering several initiatives. We hope that this meeting will be a great moment of conviviality and mobilization through popular events of which one of the highlights will be a gala concert with the participation of world-renowned French-speaking artists, scheduled for October 11th.
We are also considering setting up a “Francophonie Village” in the center of our capital Yerevan.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We hope that the results of the Summit will meet the expectations of the Francophonie. We very much hope that this Summit will be a great success, the success of the entire Francophone family; that its visibility gives La Francophonie all its international influence; that it remains, in the memory of all participants, as a great moment of Francophone solidarity.
This is also what I wish for the meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie in Armenia. Celebrating, in its own way, the International Day of La Francophonie, your meeting also coincides with the launch of the Season of La Francophonie in Armenia during which more than 600 cultural, educational and francophone events are organized, each year, during a period of two months throughout the territory of the Republic.
I wish you every success in the spirit of the strong relations between the National Assembly of Armenia and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie.
Thank you, and welcome.