The XIVth Summit of La Francophonie will be devoted to the following theme proposed by the DRC: “Francophonie, environmental and economic challenges of the French-speaking world in the face of global governance”. As the supreme body of La Francophonie, the Summit brings together high-ranking representatives of the 75 nations that have the French language or values in common; it convenes every two years in one of the member states. The Declaration of Kinshasa on the theme proposed by the DRC will be adopted by the Heads of State and of Government at the end of the Summit. The aim of the Summit is to promote the values of La Francophonie, the solidarity of French-speaking nations and closer cooperation among them.
Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, vice-president of the Federal Council, who is heading the Swiss delegation on 12-14 October in Kinshasa, will hand over the presidency of the Summit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Various bilateral talks are due to take place in the course of the Summit.
Mr. Burkhalter will participate in the Ministerial Conference on 11 October in Kinshasa. The purpose of the Conference is to ensure continuity of policy from one Summit to the next and to see to it that the decisions reached are duly implemented. The Swiss foreign minister will take the opportunity to report on Switzerland’s presidency (2010-12) since the Montreux Summit and to reiterate Switzerland’s positions within the organisation with the aim of reaffirming the values of La Francophonie with regard to democratic governance and with a view to raising the visibility of the Organisation in the world.
On 12 October, the Head of the FDFA will have a meeting with Roger Meece, head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Among other things they will discuss the situation in the east of the DRC, which is a cause of concern. Mr. Burkhalter will also meet with a delegation from the Swiss MONUSCO contingent as well as representatives of Radio Okapi, a joint project of the UN and the Hirondelle Foundation, which has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Head of the FDFA will then travel to Burundi to visit projects that are part of the FDFA’s Great Lakes strategy. In this region, Switzerland takes a coordinated approach based on three of its foreign policy instruments, namely development, promoting peace and human rights, and humanitarian aid. He will have several meetings with the Burundian partners of the FDFA’s Human Security Division active in supporting local peacebuilding efforts. Mr. Burkhalter will also visit a health-related project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Uvira in South Kivu (DRC). Since 2009, support for the renovation of hospitals in the region and efforts to strengthen the healthcare system have helped to improve access to healthcare for an estimated one million people.
On 13-14 October the Head of the FDFA will visit Egypt for meetings with representatives of the new government, bringing his tour to an end.Further information:
Head of FDFA Information
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