French President Emmanuel Macron addresses 17th Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, Armenia (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Yerevan (VNA) – The 17th Summit of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) wrapped up in Yerevan capital city of Armenia on October 12 afternoon after two working days.

The event was themed “Living together in solidarity, sharing humanistic values, and respect for diversity: a source of peace and prosperity in La Francophonie”. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh led the Vietnamese delegation to the summit and many fringe bilateral meetings.

At plenary sessions, participants focused on security and political issues in the world and Francophone countries, along with strategies, programmes and measures to promote common values to connect these countries such as peace, solidarity, respect for solidarity, cooperation and development.

The summit also reserved a session for discussing the OIF’s role and contribution to multilateral systems in settling security and economic challenges and ensuring peace, stability and sustainable development.

Leaders of 84 OIF member states approved many important documents giving orientations to the Francophone community’s activities in the time ahead, from peace, security, language and cultural diversity, education, to economic cooperation and sustainable development, such as the Yerevan Declaration, a cooperation programme for 2019-2022, a gender equality strategy, and some resolutions.

The Yerevan Declaration reaffirmed the members’ connection with French – the foundation of the Francophone community – and their respect for cultural and language diversity. It also renewed the community’s commitment to promoting an equal and fair world order based on the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, peacefully resolving crises and conflicts in the Francophone space and encouraging dialogue and reconciliation to reach a solution to these crises and conflicts, and supporting women’s further engagement in conflict prevention and settlement.

In the resolution on preventing crises and conflicts and consolidating peace in the Francophone space, the state and government leaders continued to voice concern about the recent East Sea situation and called on relevant parties to exercise self-restraint, not use or threaten to use force, and ensure the safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight over the East Sea. 

They also called for resolving disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, respecting diplomatic and legal process and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and soon finalising a substantive and efficient Code of Conduct in the waters.

The summit elected Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo as new Secretary-General of the OIF. Participants also saw the transferring of the OIF chairmanship from Madagascar to Armenia.

They decided to admit Ireland, Gambia, Malta and the US state of Louisiana as observers, raising the number of OIF members and observers to 88, and upgraded the status of Kosovo, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates from an observer to an associated member. 

The 18th Francophonie Summit will take place in Tunisia in 2020.-VNA