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Mar 25, 2022 / 22:19

Vietnam marks International Francophonie Day

For Vietnam, la Francophonie was one of the doors for the country to push for global integration following Doi moi (reform) in 1986.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) held a ceremony marking the International Francophonie Day [March 20] and the 25th anniversary of the 7th Francophone Summit in Hanoi in 1997.

 Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and OIF General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo. Source: VNA

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son said 25 years ago, the 7th Francophone summit was held in Hanoi with the participation of 48 member states of the Francophonie.

“This was the first Francophone summit in Asia-Pacific and marked a major milestone in the development of the Francophonie via the approval of its operational charter and the election of the first General Secretary,” said Son.

According to Son, discussion at the 7th summit, themed “reinforcing cooperation and solidarity among francophone communities for peace and economic and social development”, helped nurture a vision on an economic community of the Francophone, and has now become one of the key cooperation pillars among the member states.

“For Vietnam, la  Francophonie was one of the doors for the country to push for global integration following Doi moi (reform) in 1986,” Son said, noting the 7th summit was the first multilateral event hosted by Vietnam since the launch of the Renewal process.

“The summit was evidence of Vietnam’s foreign policies which stressed the country wants to become a friend and credible partner of the international community, striving for peace, democracy, development and social advancement,” he said.

The minister added the summit not only created new momentum for equal cooperation for mutual benefits between Vietnam and the Francophone community but also promoted French-related cultural values so that the language would maintain its strong presence in the country.

“The past 25 years witnessed a significant transformation of Vietnam in all spheres. From a less-developed country with a centralized economy, Vietnam has become a middle-income country with a socialist-oriented market economy that has been actively involved in global integration,” he said.

After two years of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam has shifted its anti-pandemic strategy to safe and flexible adaptation to the pandemic for socio-economic recovery.

“These achievements were thanks not only to the strong determination of the Government and the people, but also the timely support from the international community, including la Francophonie members,” Son said.

 OIF General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo.

Vietnam an example of nurturing youth

OIF General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo said the occasion is the chance for the Francophone community to look back into the past and also the future.

Mushikiwabo said the future of la Francophonie lies in hands of millions of young people, representing over 70% of the population of some member states in the Francophone.

She stressed the importance for the OIF to better respond to the rightful desire of this group, including job creation,  necessary skills training for starting businesses, innovation, and joining the labor market.

Mushikiwabo added Vietnam is an example for others in terms of young people's support, especially in startups, saying the OIF looks to contribute to this subject by strengthening economic cooperation among Francophone members.

In addition, Vietnam as a developing country with huge potential for technological development would hold a key role in realizing the economic strategy of the Francophonie.

Such a strategy has been gradually materialized with the visit of nearly 100 enterprises from 24 countries to Vietnam and meet 370 local firms in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, she said.