Francophone nations should be peacemakers

Joseph Deiss (middle) prepares for the official summit photograph Keystone

The Swiss president, Joseph Deiss, says Francophone countries should do more to prevent conflicts.

This content was published on November 27, 2004

Deiss was speaking on Saturday at the end of a two-day summit of leaders of French-speaking nations in Burkina Faso.

“La Francophonie has a large political role to play, especially to prevent conflicts,” said Deiss.

The French bloc adopted a resolution on Ivory Coast after talks on Saturday in the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou, to discuss the crisis in the former French colony.

The resolution called on all parties to end hostilities and restart dialogue without preconditions.

On Friday, Deiss called for French nations to be “less divided and more active on the ground in promoting peace, cultural diversity, development and education”.

He added that the organisation was in “good health”.

Development issues

Despite being overshadowed by the unrest in Ivory Coast, the summit focussed on development issues.

“We reaffirmed our position, especially in a resolution on micro credits,” the Swiss president said.

Switzerland has earmarked SFr30 million ($26 million) annually for such credits.

During his visit, Deiss inaugurated a market in the town of Koudougou, financed with Swiss funds.

Deiss’ visit also marked the 30th anniversary of Swiss development cooperation with Burkina Faso.

The Swiss president also held talks with the Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who will visit Switzerland on Tuesday.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

About 30 heads of state attended the summit in Burkina Faso.
La Francophonie was created to promote French culture and language.
It includes nations with French-speaking populations and former French colonies.
The first summit was held in Paris in 1986.

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