Francophonie summit adopts "Ouagadougou Declaration"

Ouagadougou- Burkina Faso (PANA) -- The 10th summit of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) ended here Saturday with the adoption of a final Declaration of Ouagadougou, which addresses various issues including sustainable development.
In the lengthy document, the Francophonie heads of states and governments underscored the importance of reaching a consensus for largely improved funding of sustainable development.
Meanwhile, the leaders also observed that globalisation had further widened economic and social disparities between countries and pointed out that least developed nations hardly benefited from world growth and new technologies.
The leaders pledged to implement adequate policies to ensure a sustainable management of resources.
In this regard, OIF leaders promised to redouble efforts to safeguarding bio-diversity and forests so as to enhance moves aimed at slowing desertification.
On food security and access to safe drinking water, the OIF leaders expressed their willingness to step-up institutional and regulatory frameworks.
In the Ouagadougou Declaration, the heads of states and governments pledged to enhance economic solidarity for development and encourage the exploration of new modes of partnership between public and private funding.
They also expressed conviction that micro-finance could also be instrumental in fighting poverty and fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by contributing to the creation of activities and jobs, as well as integrating the poorest groups into the economic and social mainstream through the institution of financial services adapted to their specific needs.
"Several actions have already been undertaken in this area within French-speaking countries, with many examples of success," the document stressed.
The OIF leaders expressed resolve to back the movement facilitating the creation and balanced growth of micro-finance institutions as well as their integration into classical financial circuits.
They equally stated their readiness to provide financial support to micro-finance institutions in the form of capital injection and guarantees.
In this framework, they pledged to modernise micro-finance institutions through computerisation and the training of human resources to improving their efficiency and services.
On international trade, the summit urged government authorities and the private sector in the Francophone space to show more reciprocal solidarity during international trade negotiations to reduce the vulnerability of producers in the South to fluctuations within world markets.
They advocated the development of the private sector, regarded as the powerhouse of economic growth, through the promotion of a conducive legal environment and harmonising legal frameworks.
The Francophone countries expressed support for an initiative mooted by France, Spain and Chile, whose aim is to introduce an international tax to supplement public development aid.
They also backed the proposed creation of an "international financial facility" for poor countries.
The 35 heads of states and government present at the summit affirmed that democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights were the bedrocks of development.
In this regard they pledged to co-operate with the United Nation Commission for Human Rights, especially the commission's special reporteurs and its working groups.
The OIF leader encouraged the organisation's secretary general Abdou Diouf to continue his efforts aimed at installing ad developing democracy, prevent conflicts and support towards the state of law, as well as human rights.
The summit adopted the principle to institute a conference of Francophone ministers of justice, and reaffirmed their attachment to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as part of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
The leaders also recommended an equitable social development based on education and training.
They called on the international community to increase the allocation of funds to education in development programmes "to facilitate the access of all to compulsory, free and quality primary education.
" The Ouagadougou Declaration underscored the concerns of the Francophone leaders on the devastating impact of endemic diseases such as the HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis in Africa, and pledged to get "significantly mobilised" to stop them.
The OIF leaders also reiterated commitment to work for the eradication of polio between now and 2005.
On cultural and linguistic diversity, the OIF rejected the reduction of cultural goods and services to mere merchandise.
OIF expressed support for UNESCO's initiative to develop an "International convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural content and artistic expressions" expected to be adopted in 2005 and called for its prompt ratification and rapid implementation.
The French speaking leaders also promised to strengthen the role of creators as part of the dialogue between cultures and work for the emergence of viable cultural industries in least developed countries (LDCs) as well as the free movement of works and artists within the Francophone space.
The Ouagadougou Declaration underscored the importance of peace and security for development.
In this connection, the OIF leaders "firmly" condemned all forms of terrorism and reaffirmed their attachment to the respect of national sovereignty and the rights of refugees.
They recognised the right of peoples under occupation to self- determination and urged the States to ratify the Rome Treaty on the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Concerning the close link between the smuggling of raw material and armed conflicts, OIF promised support to the Kimberly raw diamond certification process, whose aim is to break this link and contribute towards the prevention and resolution of conflicts by the scrapping an important source of funds for the purchase of arms.
The summit also urged countries in the Francophone space to ratify the Ottawa Convention on the elimination of landmines.

28 november 2004 12:56:00




xhtml CSS