International Francophone Day marked in Hanoi hinh anh 1A performance at the ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A ceremony took place at the Ly Thai To Statue Square in downtown Hanoi on March 15 evening to celebrate the 2019 International Francophone Day (March 20).

Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung praised cooperation outcomes obtained by the Francophone community and their active contributions to tackling global security and development challenges. 

International Francophone Day marked in Hanoi hinh anh 2Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam is dedicated to the solidarity and collaboration within the community for peace, stability and sustainable growth in the world, the diplomat stated.

He said Vietnam is willing to work for the promotion of the French language in Asia-Pacific.

Also at the ceremony, Anne Lange, head of the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation in Vietnam and president of the Group of Francophone Embassies, Delegations and Institutions in Hanoi (GADIF), bestowed the GADIF award upon two individuals in recognition of their work in promoting the French language in Vietnam and the ties between Vietnam and the Francophone community.

The two are Bui Tran Phuong, chairwoman of the executive board of the Thai Binh Duong University in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province; and Tran Bich Nga, a student of the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Thua Thien – Hue province. 

Besides the ceremony, a wide range of activities are taking place on March 15 and 16, from art and musical performances to a fair featuring 60 stalls ran by the embassies of French-speaking countries, universities and high schools, organisations, State agencies and businesses. These pavilions treated visitors to useful information, gastronomic and entertainment activities.

The Vietnam News Agency also operated a stall at the event, introducing its Le Courrier du Vietnam – the only French-language daily newspaper in Vietnam.

International Francophone Day marked in Hanoi hinh anh 3Visitors hold on their hands Vietnam News Agency's Le Courrier du Vietnam – the only French-language daily newspaper in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

The morning of March 16 saw over 1,2000 students holding hands to form the five-colour logo of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) at the Ly Thai To Statue Square as part of celebration activities, followed by the cutting of a 25-layer cake marking the 25th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Office of the Francophone University Agency (AUF).

Various activities will also be held across Vietnam during March to celebrate the International Francophone Day.

The ceremony in Hanoi was co-organised by the Foreign Ministry, the Hanoi administration and the OIF.

The OIF groups 88 member states and governments, which together account for a population of over 900 million people, including about 300 million French speakers.

Vietnam has been an OIF member since its foundation in 1970 and is considered among its founders. –VNA