The minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, reiterated, on Friday, during the consultations held with the secretary general of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), Louise Mushikiwabo, Romania’s deep commitment to the common values and principles of La Francophonie.
“I expressed Romania’s firm support for the effort made by Mrs. secretary general in strengthening the organization’s profile at the multilateral level and the Francophonie’s action in favor of peace, democracy and human rights. Our common assessment is that the OIF must have an active and dynamic role in numerous areas of action, such as the identification of solutions and projects aimed at reducing the democratic and security deficits in certain regions of the French-speaking area, the identification of appropriate responses to armed conflicts, climate change or hybrid threats,” declared Aurescu, at the end of the discussions held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) headquarters, in a joint press conference with the OIF official.
The discussions also focused on the importance of strengthening relations between the European and African areas, Bogdan Aurescu saying that strengthening the resilience of the Francophone area in the face of threats also involves combating disinformation, gender and opportunity inequalities, as well as discrimination.
The two dignitaries also discussed security and the implications of the war that the Russian Federation launched against Ukraine, which is an observer state at the International Organization of La Francophonie. Bogdan Aurescu mentioned the assistance that Romania offered to Ukrainian refugees, over 3.7 million citizens who entered the territory of Romania, as well as the support given to facilitating the transit of grain and other Ukrainian agricultural products through Romania – over 14 million tons of agricultural products.
Aurescu and Mushikiwabo also discussed “the security risks which the Republic of Moldova is exposed to, as a result of the war started by the Russian Federation”, but also about the political and security situation in Africa, Bogdan Aurescu reiterating the constant political support and the national contribution consistent with the stabilization and reconstruction processes in the Sahel and, in general, in Africa.
“We share the conviction that the Francophonie of the future can only develop in a climate of peace, stability, democracy and unity. And, in this sense, Romania, together with the other countries in the Francophone family, actively promotes the involvement of young people in democratic processes. Gender equality, as well as (…) education for sustainable development represents direct investments in our future, including for combating the most acute threats to our common desideratum of the core of Francophone values,” said the minister of Foreign Affairs.
OIF secretary general: We need to be closer in this war-torn international context
Francophone countries need to talk more, to be closer in this international context affected by the war at Romania’s border, a member state of the Francophonie, said Friday secretary general of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo, at the end of consultations with foreign affairs minister Bogdan Aurescu.
“I have come here, including in the context of this war at your country’s borders (…) there is a need for more discussion among Francophone countries. We need to be closer, to get to know each other better, to support each other better – this is a message that directly addresses this need for solidarity, which is one of the essential values of the French-speaking world,” stressed the OIF official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) headquarters, in a joint conference with minister Bogdan Aurescu.
Louise Mushikiwabo recalled, in this context, that the OIF, founded 52 years ago, has become an organisation based on cooperation in all respects, bringing together countries from the most important regions, and is, after the UN, the most important organisation of its kind, with 88 member states and others that have submitted their candidacy.
“Romania is the most Francophone country in this region, in the entire Francophone area. We have collaboration in the field of education, in the field of professional training (…) In recent years we have benefited from Romania’s support not only in terms of the contribution of all the states with statutory rights, a contribution which has increased on Romania’s part – and I thank you, Mr. Minister – but also in terms of initiatives which are essential for the OIF, for example the fund dedicated to women in the Francophone area who suffered during the COVID pandemic,” stressed the OIF secretary general.
“We have expressed our full appreciation for the humanitarian aid provided primarily to Ukrainian refugees, but also for the important support given by Romania to the Republic of Moldova, a member state of the OIF,” said the OIF secretary general, who announced that on Friday evening she would travel to Chisinau to mark the active presence of the Francophonie in the area.
In this context, Louise Mushikiwabo noted that the Republic of Moldova is deeply supported by Romania, “and these values of support, understanding, dialogue and communication are the very DNA of the OIF”.
“I thank the ministers of both countries – Romania and Moldova – for the distribution of cereals, given that many of our North African countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which make up the bulk of OIF member states, receive cereals imported from Ukraine. It was important for Romania to organise the logistics of transferring these grains to our African countries so effectively,” said the official who was in Bucharest on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Romania’s accession to the OIF.
Compiled from Agerpres