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La Francophonie

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La Francophonie, a term coined in 1880 by French geographer Onésisme Reclus[?] to designate the community of people and countries using French, is an international organization of French-speaking countries and governments. French is at least a minor language in all its members, and is in fact the sole major language of only a few.

Inspired by The Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie was created in 1970 as a forum where former colonizers (France and Belgium) and other wealthy francophone countries (primarily Canada and Switzerland) could meet with and give aid to poorer countries. Unlike the Commonwealth, however, which has long found its raison d'être in the maintenance and furtherance of democracy and human rights among its member states, the focus of La Francophonie has and continues to be squarely on French language and culture.

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The International Organization of la Francophonie has an observer status at the UN General Assembly.


La Francophonie summits are held every two years, at which time the leaders of the member states have an opportunity to meet and develope strategies and goals for the organization.

Past Summits:

Ministerial Conferences

Every year Francophone-affairs and/or foreign-affairs ministers from the member states meet to prepare for future leaders summits and to work on implementing past decisions.

Permanent Council

The Permanent Council of La Francophonie consists of the La Francophonie Ambassadors of the member countries, and like the ministers conferences it's main task is to plan future summits and also to supervise the implementation of summit decisions on a day-to-day basis.


See also: French colonial empire, Colonization of Africa

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