November 30, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the election of Michaëlle Jean as the Secretary General of La Francophonie:
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Michaëlle Jean on her election as the Secretary General of La Francophonie.
“I am especially pleased that, for the first time in its history, La Francophonie has elected a Canadian woman as its head. Thanks to her impressive qualifications and her vast experience, including as the former Governor General of Canada, UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, and Grand Témoin de la Francophonie at the London Olympic Games, Ms. Jean is the ideal person to promote French and the values of the Organisation. She will embody the renewal and modernity that La Francophonie of the 21st century needs, and will listen to heads of state and government and their citizens.
“I look forward to working with the incoming Secretary General and all the members of La Francophonie on the commitments made at the Dakar Summit, including on women and youth as well as a number of other issues of importance to the Organisation, such as sustainable economic growth and development, good governance, democracy, justice and peace, and poverty reduction.
“Because of its proud French heritage, Canada is an ardent member and promoter of La Francophonie. We are not only the second-largest donor of La Francophonie, but we are also committed to working with the Organisation to help it fulfil its missions and to promote the French language and cultural diversity in Canada and worldwide. That is why we continue to support the operators of La Francophonie who are working within the Organisation, including the TV5 Network, the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, the Association internationale des maires francophones, and the Université Senghor d’Alexandrie.
“I would also like to thank Senegal for hosting the 15th Summit of La Francophonie, which was a great success. I also thank the outgoing Secretary General, Abdou Diouf, for his tremendous legacy, which has made La Francophonie a modern, credible and effective organization. I wish him every success in his future endeavours.”