Her Excellency Madam Michaelle Jean, Secretary General of the La Francophonie Secretariat congratulated the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Charlot Salwai and the Government of Vanuatu for upholding, promoting and preserving the importance and the relevance of the French language and its culture in Vanuatu.
Madam Jean echoed these words as she welcomed the Hon. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and his delegation to the OIF Secretariat in Paris, France on Wednesday 25th January, 2017.
In congratulating Prime Minister Salwai for his election, Madam Jean expressed the sentiments that the OIF is proud to witness that the only Pacific ACP state and only member of the La Francophonie family is also a strong Ni-Vanuatu Francophonie politician and someone who is profoundly very proud and fond of his francophone training and background.
She even reiterated her recognition to the Republic of Vanuatu as one of the most active members within the Asia- Pacific region and commends the commitment and the solidarity that Vanuatu attaches to the La Francophonie family.
In their joint discussions, which centred on Vanuatu’s ongoing political reforms and the challenges that Small Island Development States (SIDS) face in the ever-changing global context, she praised Prime Minister Salwai for his leadership in initiating and meeting the various political reforms in Vanuatu that would lead to political instability and prosperity for Vanuatu in the future.
Prime Minister Salwai congratulated Madam Jean for her new appointment as the Head of OIF and further commended the OIF for the recent achievement of 22 Ni-Vanuatu students who have successfully completed their exams at the Agence Universite de la Francophonie (AUF) based in Vanuatu with flying colours which he believes is a testimony of Vanuatu’s strong commitment and preservation of the French language.
The Vanuatu Head of Government also shared his aspiration for Vanuatu to ensure there is scaling up of the French graduates to match their Anglophone counterparts in supporting the work through the Vanuatu Public Administration and the Parliament in general.
Prime Minister Salwai and Madam Jean also underscored the need for the OIF to remain vigilant and relevant in supporting the political agenda of its member states in the context of the emerging difficulty confronting most of French member countries in particular the recent integration of both New Caledonie and French Polynesia to the Pacific Island Forum family since 2016.
In her response, she reiterated the need for greater visibility of the organization of the Asia Pacific and beyond, and expressed her profound gratitude to Vanuatu as a vehicle and the platform for promoting and driving French language.
Madam Jean also commended the Minister of Education, Hon. Jean-Pierre Nirua MP another strong Francophone trained Ni Vanuatu post -graduate for attending the recent OIF Summit held in Madagascar at the end of last year and in particular Vanuatu’s contribution to the overall mandate and vision representing and reflecting La Francophonie position and central place in the global Agenda.
The Secretary General of OIF confirmed to the Vanuatu Prime Minister the Secretariat’s plan in working closely with the Government of Vanuatu in the implentation of the new programmes within the Education sector.
Prime Minister was accompanied by his Foreign Minister, Hon. Bruno Lengkone and the Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Seremiah Matai Nawalu, and two strong Francophone Members of Parliament, Hon. Francois Chani – Special Envoy on Trade, and Hon. Rick Mahe – Vanuatu’s Representative to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and senior officials.