The 31st Ministerial Council of La Francophonie, the organisation of French-speaking countries, has opened in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. Delegations representing the 57 member states of the organisation, as well as those of 23 observer states are attending the event.
President Serzh Sargsyan participated in the opening session which was held at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. Addressing the more than five hundred delegates present, the Armenian President said that "Presently, we live under conditions of new crises and threats that have emerged in the international arena, and can witness further widening of dividing lines. Hence, special importance have begun to acquire international and regional organizations which try to unite and not to divide. We must reinforce our institutions, raise their effectiveness and importance. In this respect, the International Organization of La Francophonie holds vital significance: our unity is grounded first of all on values - isn’t it? - which is a precious and eternal unifying factor in the present world."
President Sargsyan added, "Unfortunately, there are also conflicts and crises that continue to pose a threat to the security of some regions of the Francophone space and endanger their sustainable development. It was no accident that the main subject of the conference proposed by Armenia is “The Peace, Tolerance, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding in the Francophone Space.” We believe that through tolerance we can avoid a lot of problems and on the contrary, intolerance can result in crises, conflicts and even in the commitment of genocide, the gravest crime against humanity. We know about it from our own experience".
You can read the speech of the Armenian President in full on the Armenian Presidency website here
You can read more about the organisation of French speaking countries, La Francophonie, here
photo: President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia at the opening session of the 31 Ministerial Council of La Francophonie in Yerevan on Saturday, 10 October 2015. (picture courtesy of La Francophionie)
Street protests continued in Yerevan on Thursday (19 April), and over one hundred persons were detained by police. Protestors are angry at the appointment of Serzh Sargsyan as Prime Minister at the end of his ten year stint as the country's president