Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, will be a guest of honor at the Columbia Maison Française, where she will join in a dialogue with Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne. They will discuss the importance and value of la Francophonie – the French language as an international language spoken in the 84 member states and governments that are members of the International Organization of La Francophonie. These member states account for over one-third of the United Nations’ member states and account for a population of over 900 million people, including 274 million French speakers worldwide.
Michaëlle Jean is a Haitian-born Canadian stateswoman and former journalist who is the third and current Secretary General of la Francophonie, and the first woman to hold the position. From 2005 to 2010, she was Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation. Souleymane Bachir Diagne is Professor of French and Philosophy at Columbia.
The International Organization of La Francophonie represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. The French language and humanist values represent its two cornerstones. Created in 1970, the IOF represents 84 member states and governments (58 members and 26 observers), and organizes political activities and actions of multilateral cooperation that benefit French-speaking populations. Its actions respect cultural and linguistic diversity and serve to promote the French language, peace and sustainable development.