October 4th, 2012

Francophone summit: government must reaffirm its commitment

Canada must also play leadership role in restoring peace in the DRC

As the Francophone Summit in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, approaches, New Democrat critic for La Francophonie Pierre Dionne Labelle urges the prime minister to address the current conflict and reaffirm his commitment to the Francophonie.

“Canada’s participation in the Francophonie has always been a key element of our foreign policy. But recent decisions by the Conservatives, like cuts to the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sport of the Francophonie, are worrying. Canada’s withdrawal puts the organization at risk. This decision must be reassessed,” said Dionne Labelle in his letter to the prime minister.

While the eastern part of the DRC is currently the scene of conflict and serious human rights violations, Dionne Labelle also urged the prime minister to play a leadership role in ensuring the Summit doesn’t become a missed opportunity.

“Canada is the second largest provider of funds to the International Organization of the Francophonie. The promotion of peace, democracy and human rights is at the heart of its mission. Canada must play a proactive role in the stabilization of the region by adopting or supporting a resolution to that effect at the Summit.”