YEREVAN, Armenia – If it must give up its place as a great patron of the Francophonie, Friday, Michaëlle Jean will not get done while muting the concern that awakens in her the idea of Rwanda the to rob him. The secretary-general has served a warning to the members of the organization, urging them not to give in to the “little arrangements between the States” and not to deny their democratic ideals.
We knew that she had no intention of making weapons and his title of secretary general of the international Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) without fighting until the end, and the Canadian has proved it Thursday, going a final plea before an audience filled with dozens of heads of States and governments summit meeting in Yerevan, Armenia.
“By the time we walk up to the 50th anniversary of the Francophonie, ask us here in the city of Yerevan, in all conscience and responsibility, what side of History we want to be”, argued in a speech punctuated with innuendo that all may see bowing to his rival, the minister of foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Louise Mushikiwabo.
“Are we ready to accept that international organizations should be used for partisan purposes (…) Are we ready to accept that democracy, rights and freedoms, are reduced to mere words, empty of meaning in the name of realpolitik, of little arrangements between States or particular interests?”, she vigorously hammered.
It is the Rwanda – an african nation, led of hand authoritarian rule by president Paul Kagame, as the prime minister Justin Trudeau has met with just after the speech of the former governor-general, on Thursday – does not have a balance sheet to be particularly positive in terms of democratic rights and freedom of the press.
Despite this, the number two of Kigali has succeeded in winning the support of France, the main funder of the OIF, as well as the support of a slew of countries of the african Union. And the canadian government, after having supported the honourable Michaëlle Jean, finally gave up and announced its intention to join the consensus that is emerging.
The one that was also released earlier this week by the prime minister-designate of Quebec, François Legault, has concluded the last public advocacy in urging his people to “choose between (…) progress or regress”, because “an organization that ruse with the values and principles is already a dead organisation”.
Tribute to Trudeau
A little earlier, the prime minister Justin Trudeau had paid a tribute during the keynote address that he delivered at the opening of the Seventeenth Summit of the Francophonie on Thursday, on the eve of the election of the next secretary-general of the OIF – a courtesy that has also made the president of france Emmanuel Macron to Michaëlle Jean.
“I want to emphasize that someone special, a friend, ( .. ) for his remarkable work at the head of the Francophonie. Michaelle has emerged as an outspoken advocate of women, including their right to education and advocating for their emancipation”, a-t-il .
“His many accomplishments, as much to youth as to the rights of the person, have enriched not only our great organization, but our world. It gives impetus to the causes that we all hold to c?ur with his dedication and contagious energy,” added the prime minister.
Good player, the president Macron was held to congratulate the one on which he has not placed a bet. “The Francophonie must be this space that fights for the rights of women – and here I want to acknowledge the work that has been done by Michaëlle Jean, to which I pay tribute, which is highly mobilized in this fight”, he exposed toward the end of his speech of forty minutes.
“The Francophonie must be a feminist! And you were right, madam secretary general, that nothing will give in to this fight”, he launched.
The tenant of the Elysée palace has also taken good care to say good words about Canada and some of its initiatives, and it has also strongly emphasised the importance of Africa for the future of the organization and the sustainability of the francophonie on the planet as a whole.
A fierce fight
The chances of Michaëlle Jean to be re-appointed for a second four-year term at the head of the OIF are considered to be excessively thin, or even non-existent. Traditionally, the election to this position shall be made by consensus and not by vote. The heads of States and governments, however, can request the holding of a vote.
African leaders feel, however, a certain discomfort to have somehow been placed in front of the accomplished fact, according to a source familiar with the leadership campaign. Some have even expressed directly with the candidate in Canada that they were in a “position impossible”.
According to what was reported Tuesday by Radio France international (RFI), the former journalist and native of Haiti, had hoped to be able to count on the support of some 17 to 18 delegations within the OIF Friday. The media bases these statistics on the “one last score made Tuesday evening in Yerevan”.
Charles Aznavour welcomed
At the entrance of the complex Karen Demirdjian, where is held the international forum, the music of Charles Aznavour, the son of Armenia, resounded on Thursday. The summit, which opened a few days after the death of the monument of the song of offspring Armenian, and his contributions to the development of the French language has been underlined on the podium.
Prime minister Trudeau welcomed this “great man that I liked a lot, a great lover of the French language” by noting that “in the days that followed his death, the francophones and francophiles of the world are united in grief through his work”, a “spirit of solidarity (which) was perhaps the greatest tribute that we could make”.
His French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, has regretted the disappearance of a voice “that plunged our country in the sadness and mourning”, a voice “who said it better than all the other our torment, our happiness, the pain of the passing of time, the carelessness of youth,” with “the melancholy that accompanied the exile.”