Vietnam will continue to take part in an active and responsible manner in the Francophone Community’s activities, contributing to the community’s development and solidarity and cooperation among member countries, a Vietnamese diplomat said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the statement at a celebration to mark the International Francophone Day (March 20) in Hanoi on March 18.

He said this was a chance for Vietnam to show its desire to consolidate and strengthen cooperation with the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) as well as the country’s commitments to the organisation.

Vietnam supports the message made by Francophone Secretary General, stressing the need to give priority to youth in order to promote their dynamism and creativity for the organisation’s common goals.

Patrice Burel, Director of OIF’s Regional Bureau of Asia Pacific, acknowledged and spoke highly of Vietnam’s contributions to the Francophone Community, especially the initiative on the “Francophone space” programme by the Vietnam News Agency’s French-language newspaper Le Courrier du Vietnam, scheduled to be broadcast on VNA’s television channel Vnews from March 20, 2011.

On this occasion, an insignia to honour Vietnamese who have a strong attachment to the French language was conferred on Trinh Ngoc Thai, Vice President of the Vietnam-France Friendship Association and former ambassador to France, and Prof. Huynh Hue Tue, head of the Bac Ha University.

Activities to mark International Francophone Day 2011 in Vietnam last from mid-March to early April./.