Paris- France (PANA) -- The secretary general of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), former Senegalese President Abdou Diouf, has urged France to do more for the Francophonie, as it is the first francophone economic and political power.
"Even though French belongs to all those who use it, it can't have borders yet the struggle for Francophonie begins in France itself," he said in an address during the International Day of the Francophonie.
"Armed with your support, allow me to make a wish or two that 20 March may be marked every year in all schools in France (as Francophonie Day) …," Diouf told French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The former Senegalese leader also made another wish to see the Francophonie flag fly every 20 March at every local council along with the French flag.
Making an assessment of the achievements of the OIF since its establishment, Diouf appealed to all member states to support francophone institutions.
"Whatever our efforts, our resolve today and in the coming years will still depend on the will of our states and governments to give the Francophonie the means to achieve its aims," Diouf said.
"We will still depend on the support, interest and the adherence of local governments, civil society, media and citizens, particularly the youth," he told hundreds of young students who had come to listen to him.
Diouf said: "Dear students, learn to love the world that does not exist yet in order to better shape it, learn now to dialogue with all cultures, learn solidarity.
"Your common language allows you to do so, the Francophonie values urge you to do so.
" The International Day of the Francophonie was marked in the Cité internationale, a symbolic place accommodating about 6, 000 students of 140 nationalities in the French capital which hosts the OIF headquarters.
Several events including a roundtable discussion attended by writers and students as well as the proclamation of a writing test marked the Day which has been instituted to celebrate the establishment in 1970 in Niamey, Niger, of the Cultural and Technical Cooperation Agency (ACCT) which later became OIF.