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10 Oct 2012

Pauline Marois leads first mission abroad

Québec Premier Pauline Marois will begin her first mission abroad by taking part from October 12 to 14 in the 14th Francophone Summit, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). She will then carry out an official visit to Paris, where she will meet with senior officials of the French Republic. She will be accompanied on the mission by Jean-François Lisée, Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade.

Premier Marois had the following to say about La Francophonie: “Our attachment to La Francophonie is undeniably based on cultural and emotional affinities, on sharing a language with hundreds of millions of people around the world. But La Francophonie is also an international forum for Québec, an extraordinary lever for defending our positions in areas such as development of the French language, democracy and human rights, and sustainable development.”

Francophone Summit

The theme of the 14th Francophone Summit is La Francophonie: Environmental and Economic Issues and World Governance. This is the first Francophone Summit held in central Africa, a strategic region for the future of the French language, given demographic trends. At the invitation of the host country, the heads of state and government in attendance will focus on four key areas:

  • Africa within La Francophonie and world governance
  • Environmental and economic issues
  • Democratic governance and human rights
  • The French language, cultural diversity and education

“On the heels of this summer’s first French Language World Forum, Québec is particularly well placed to argue in favour of greater commitment to the French language by La Francophonie member states and governments,” said Jean-François Lisée.

Premier Marois’s first official visit to France will take place from October 15 to 17. The trip will also be her first bilateral mission. Along with Jean-François Lisée, she will participate in political discussions aimed, among other things, at taking stock of relations between Québec and France. The Premier will address the members of the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF — French employers’ association) and give a speech at the Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI).

According to Pauline Marois, “Relations between France and Québec have always sparked exceptional vitality and commitment on both sides. I am delighted at the idea that I can contribute to enhancing this rich relationship, which, more than ever, benefits both of our societies.”

14th Francophone Summit in Kinshasa (in French)
Québec-France relations
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