summit Kais Saied, the President of Tunisia, who is hosting this summit sixteen months after his coup in July 2021, expressed the wish to see the meeting deliver “tangible and effective results” in the face of “the upheavals the world is going through”
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian during a bilateral meeting at the 18th summit of French-speaking countries in Djerba, November 19, 2022. — AFP
Leaders from French-speaking countries gathered at a summit in Tunisia on Saturday, with the ambition of seeing the bloc play a “increased role” to internationally in the resolution of current crises. The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), a space of 88 member, associate or observer countries, must affirm “its influence in a fractured world” by multiple seizures, estimated its Secretary General Louise Mishikiwabo, at the start of a two-day summit on the island of Djerba.
“La Francophonie must remain a link to prevent tensions from degenerating into conflicts,” the former head of Rwandan diplomacy, advocating an “uninhibited Francophonie” and “more tight-knit” in “the development of common positions” to move towards a “multilateralism rethought”. She quoted the many “storms” crossed by the planet, including the Covid-19 pandemic as well as environmental and technological challenges.
Emphasis on the economy
The summit is to officially focus on the economy, with the slogan “digital as a vector of development”. “It is our responsibility to lead the battle for youth employment in our space,” said Ms Mishikiwabo, whose projects also focus on female entrepreneurship.
The OIF summit — founded in 1970 — coincides with the final phase of the COP27 on climate in Egypt and follows the a meeting of the G20 in Indonesia dominated by the war in Ukraine, an observer country within the OIF.
The head of the OIF did not mention this conflict in his speech, but French President Emmanuel Macron, present at the summit, said he wanted to discuss it with the other leaders, according to his entourage. On this file, a gap; is dug between African countries lamenting a lack of solidarity; international with the continent, face to face; Westerners, on the other hand, are very mobilized to come to the aid of Ukraine.
Kais Saied, the President of Tunisia, which hosts this summit sixteen months after his coup in July 2021, expressed the wish to see the ;union bring “tangible and effective results” face “”the upheavals the world is going through”.
“””The hum of the summits”
On behalf of France, Emmanuel Macron advocated a “Francophonie of action” far from the “purr of the peaks”. He had an interview with President Saied, at the outcome of which France announced a loan of 200 million euros to Tunisia, to support its faltering economy. Recalling that Tunisia, “like many countries in the region, depended heavily on Ukrainian and Russian cereals” that “funding has been provided; ” to help him s’supply wheat.
In addition to Mr. Macron, other leaders such as the Canadian Justin Trudeau, the President of the European Council Charles Michel or the Senegalese Macky Sall are at stake. Djerba. On the other hand, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, preferred stay in his country in the midst of the conflict in the east with the M23 rebels. And its Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, refused; to pose in the family photo àgrave; side from Rwandan President Paul Kagame to “show the government’s complete disapproval of Rwandan aggression,” he said on Twitter.
Re-election of the Secretary General of the OIF
For his part, Nikol Pashinian, Prime Minister of Armenia and outgoing President of La Francophonie, has updated use his speech to denounce the “unjustified and unprovoked pressures” from neighboring Azerbaijan. He called the community international to Condemn “the occupation of parts of Armenian territory” and demand “the return of Azerbaijani forces to their previous positions.
The re-election for four years of the Secretary General of the OIF, alone in the running, is also on the menu of the meeting until’ Sunday between representatives of this space of 321 millions of French-speakers, called to become 750 million in 2050, thanks to Africa.