A string of cultural activities will take place in major cities to celebrate International Francophone Day (March 20), an annual fest of French-speaking countries to uphold shared values and tighten solidarity.

To begin with, an official celebration ceremony in Hanoi will be graced by the presence of General Secretary of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) Abdou Diouf and Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, said the chairman of the group of Francophone embassies, missions and organizations in Vietnam, Valeriu Arteni at a press briefing in Hanoi on March 5.

The OIF General Secretary will make a three-day visit to Vietnam from March 13-15, during which he is scheduled to hold talks with President Truong Tan Sang, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh as well as meet with students majoring in French language at a Hanoi University-hosted cultural festival.

Arteni also announced that a ceremony to present honorary and Francophone youth awards will be held, plus a music concert at the Hanoi Opera House that will feature artists from Belgium, Switzerland and Vietnam.

In addition, a Francophone film festival will take place in Hanoi, the central cities of Hue and Vinh, and southern metro Ho Chi Minh City. It will bring a line-up of flicks made in France, Belgium, Guinea, Senegal, Luxembourg, Romania, Switzerland and Vietnam to local cinema fans.

A member of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) since 1970, Vietnam has been active in cooperation with other member states.

OIF groups 57 member countries, governments and 20 observers. The Asia-Pacific region has Cambodia, Laos, Vanuatu and Vietnam as its members and observer Thailand. The OIF opened the Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific in Hanoi in 1994.-VNA