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Minister Paradis concludes participation at the 5th Congrès mondial acadien

Canada helping to foster economic growth in developing countries as well as providing humanitarian assistance in the West Africa Region 
August 22, 2014 – Edmundston, New Brunswick – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, concluded a productive two-day visit to the 5th Congrès mondial acadien (CMA). The event, held for the first time in two Canadian provinces (New Brunswick and Quebec) and one American state (Maine), brings together Acadians and their friends from around the world to celebrate their culture and heritage as well as strengthen and develop economic ties among various partners.

The 2014 CMA main events are taking place in Edmundston, located in the north-west corner of the province of New Brunswick. The city shares its borders with both Quebec and the American state of Maine.

“I would like to congratulate the organizers of the CMA as well as the people of the region known as Acadia of the Lands and Forests for a successful event,” said Minister Paradis. “The Government of Canada is proud to support the CMA, and is committed to supporting communities, arts and culture by investing in projects that also contribute to our economy.”

During his visit, Minister Paradis was the guest speaker at the CMA Economic Summit and hosted a Francophonie economic round table with representatives of New Brunswick private sector companies and civil society organizations working in La Francophonie member countries. At both events, the Minister reiterated Canada’s determination to promote an economically dynamic La Francophonie by strengthening the private sector and improving the business climate in such a way as to foster economic growth.

The round table is the fifth in a series hosted by Minister Paradis around the country. These meetings are part of Canada’s preparations for the 15th Summit of La Francophonie, which will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on November 29–30, 2014. The theme of the Dakar Summit will be Women and Youth in La Francophonie: Agents for Peace and Development.

“Canada looks forward to the upcoming Summit of La Francophonie as it will work toward the adoption of a new economic strategy,” added Minister Paradis. “Canada’s efforts will also focus on food security, education, child protection as well as the importance of maternal, newborn and child health.”

During his remarks at the CMA Economic Summit, Minister Paradis highlighted the candidacy of the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada and current UNESCO special envoy to Haiti, to succeed the outgoing Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie, His Excellency Abdou Diouf. Canada, together with the governments of Quebec and New Brunswick, are endorsing her candidacy. The next secretary general of the OIF will be chosen at the Dakar Summit. 

Minister Paradis also took time to announce humanitarian assistance funding to support the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to meet the humanitarian needs of people in countries in the West Africa region.

“Many countries in the West Africa region face high levels of poverty, underdevelopment, food insecurity and malnutrition,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada is committed to supporting a strong international humanitarian system. Partners, such as the ICRC, are crucial to ensure that the immediate assistance and protection needs of families, women and children affected by conflict and insecurity are met quickly and appropriately.”

Canada’s support to the ICRC will contribute to improve health, living conditions and protection of crisis-affected people in the West Africa region.

Quick Facts

  • Since 1994, the CMA has been giving Acadians and friends of Acadia the opportunity to reconnect every five years and celebrate their culture and heritage with pride.
  • The 2014 CMA is being held in two countries, and involves two Canadian provinces and one American state in a region known as Acadia of the Lands and Forests. This region includes northwestern New Brunswick, Témiscouata in Quebec and Aroostook County in Maine.
  • La Francophonie is a network of member states and governments sharing French as a common language. The network includes several independently established institutions dating back to the 1960s.
  • Canada is the second-largest contributor to La Francophonie. The provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are also members of La Francophonie and important contributors.
  • At the 15th Summit of La Francophonie in Dakar, Senegal (November 29–30, 2014), discussions will include priority issues for Canada, including stimulating sustainable economic growth as means for reducing poverty and improving maternal, newborn and child health.
  • Many countries in West Africa face high levels of poverty, underdevelopment, food insecurity and malnutrition. Many West African countries are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as droughts and flooding, as well as outbreaks of disease.
  • In 2014, Canada confirmed the West African countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal as countries of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
  • On May 8, 2014, Minister Christian Paradis was appointed as Chair of the OECD’s World Economic Forum and charged with promoting a more systematic approach to testing and scaling up financial innovations and blending capital in order to accelerate progress towards development objectives.

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Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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