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PM concludes successful Francophonie Summit in Dakar, Senegal

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Dakar, Senegal
30 November 2014

Introduction

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today concluded a successful three-day visit to Dakar, Senegal, where he led Canada’s delegation to the 15th Summit of La Francophonie from November 28 to 30, 2014.

During the Summit’s opening ceremony, the Prime Minister delivered an address, in which he reiterated Canada’s strong support for the important work of La Francophonie in advancing the prosperity and stability of developing Francophonie nations.

Leaders discussed an array of issues facing nations of La Francophonie, including advancing the cause of improved maternal, newborn and child health, further cooperation to address the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa, and economic and political challenges facing women and youth in Francophonie countries. Economic development is an essential focus of La Francophonie, and one of the main themes of Canada’s development assistance. To that end, the Prime Minister announced Canadian support for initiatives aimed at equipping education and public service professionals with the tools and training they need to advance economic prosperity and social equality in Francophonie countries.

During the Summit, Prime Minister Harper recognized the leadership of outgoing Secretary General Abdou Diouf, and welcomed Michaëlle Jean as the new Secretary General of La Francophonie. He congratulated Michaëlle Jean on her appointment and expressed his gratitude to the members of La Francophonie for having elected a Canadian woman to this important position, representing the renewal needed by La Francophonie of the 21st century.

The Prime Minister also reaffirmed Canada’s leadership on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) by announcing support for the GAVI Alliance and the Micronutrient Initiative, which will help ensure that mothers and children across the developing world have access to lifesaving vaccines and nutrition. Canada’s strong support of robust and high-quality health systems is not only key to saving the lives of women and children, but also to preventing and managing major disease outbreaks, such as the ongoing Ebola crisis that is ravaging parts of Western Africa.

The Prime Minister also held a series of bilateral meetings on the margins of the Summit, including with the outgoing Secretary General of La Francophonie Abdou Diouf, and the leaders of Cameroon, Guinea and Tunisia.

Quick Facts

  • The Francophonie Summit is a meeting of heads of state and governments of countries using French as a common language. The Summit, which is held every two years, is chaired by the head of state or government of the country hosting the Summit.
  • The Summit defines, in an eight-year strategic framework, the orientations of La Francophonie to ensure its worldwide influence. It adopts any resolution it deems necessary for the effective functioning of La Francophonie and the achievement of its objectives. It also designates the Secretary General of La Francophonie [available in French only].
  • Canada was one of the first countries to promote La Francophonie by playing an active role in the creation and development of its institutions.
  • Canada is a global leader in promoting maternal, newborn and child health. On May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit. At the Summit, Canada committed additional funding to continue support to 2020.

Quotes

“This year’s Francophonie Summit was a great success. I congratulate Senegal on welcoming members so warmly and chairing the Summit with clear and realistic objectives. We can all be pleased with the outcome of this Summit including the adoption of both La Francophonie’s latest roadmap, which includes a groundbreaking economic strategy, as well as a strategy on addressing challenges faced by women and young people.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Canada will continue to exercise its leadership within La Francophonie to promote maternal, newborn and child health, with a special focus on immunization and nutrition. Canada will also continue to strongly promote education and vocational training, which are both essential to fostering sustainable economic growth, ensuring the prosperity of member countries, and thereby reducing poverty in the world.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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