Celebration of French-speaking culture in Switzerland and the world in the year 2011

Bern, Press release, 17.03.2011

Switzerland will join in worldwide celebrations of French-speaking culture (Francophonie) focused on the 20th of March 2011. The celebration is in commemoration of the Convention signed in Niamey (Niger) in 1970, which is considered the foundation act of Francophonie. After hosting the 13th Francophonie Summit at Montreux (22-24 October 2010) Switzerland retains the title of Summit President until 2012.

As in the past many of Switzerland’s embassies will participate on the 20th of March in the Fête de la Francophonie in capital cities around the world. Since Switzerland sees this as an excellent opportunity for all Francophonie member states to celebrate their cultural diversity, the priority of Swiss embassies in a year in which Switzerland has the presidency will be to promote the cultural values of the French-speaking world, and the writings of Jacques Chessex (1934-2009).

In Switzerland the occasion will be celebrated in the week of 11-20 March, which will be devoted to Francophonie and the French language. There will be no less than 90 events in 30 French, German and Italian speaking cities and towns, coordinated by the French Language Delegation, a permanent committee of the Intercantonal Conference of Public Education of Romandie and Ticino (CIIP). The Swiss singer Nicolas Fraissinet, winner of the Jeux de la Francophonie prize in 2009, will act as patron of the event.

In Bern the FDFA and various Francophonie member states will once again offer the public a rich programme including cinema and music. The complete programme of this 16th edition of the Semaine de la langue française et de la francophonie en Suisse can be found on the internet at : www.slff.ch 

Switzerland has been a full member of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) since 1989 when it joined the Summit of the heads of state and government of countries sharing the French language (Summit of La Francophonie). The fourth largest backer behind France, Canada and the French Community of Belgium, Switzerland plays an influential role within the IOF. Having hosted the 13th Summit of La Francophonie at Montreux (22-24 October 2010), Switzerland will remain the Summit’s President until 2012.

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs