Hundreds of French-speaking parliamentarians are scheduled to hold a plenary assembly in Bern, the first such gathering in the Swiss capital in more than a decade.
The gathering of some 300 lawmakers who are part of l’Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie is slated for July 6-10, according to the Swiss parliamentary website.
The group of parliamentarians, which was established in Luxembourg in 1967 to promote the French language and culture, represents some 80 countries from French-speaking parts of the world. It also aims to promote democracy in the francophone community.
At the meeting, Switzerland, which only became a full member of the organisation in 1990, plans to make presentations about some of its education programs, notably online courses in French.
The French-speaking cantons of Geneva, Jura, Vaud and Valais are also directly represented.
The last time the organisation’s plenary assembly met in Bern was in July 2002, when it focused on how globalisation was marginalising the role of parliaments. At that meeting, Socialist Geneva called for the defence of French and warned against “the English threat”.
The 2002 plenary assembly in Bern also discussed resolutions on Burundi, Haiti and Madagascar and weighed in on topics ranging from health care to women’s economic conditions to intellectual property.
swissinfo.ch and agencies