At the initiative of the Head of the delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, MA Jadranka Jovanovic, today, the National Assembly marked Francophonie Month.
On behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Dr Vladimir Orlic, MA Jadranka Jovanovic welcomed everybody to the event marking another Francophonie Month in Serbia, stating that it shows our commitment to this important international organisation.
Jovanovic pointed out that the presence of Serbia in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie and the International Organisation of La Francophonie is not a coincidence, reminding the attending that the first modern Serbian Constitution was modelled on the French constitutional charters of 1814 and 1830, and the Belgian Constitution of 1831. "French is the language which the Serbian intellectual and political elite was founded on and francophone legal texts were the model for the first Serbian codifications," she said.
In Serbia today, the French language is taught in 360 primary schools, 187 secondary schools and 5 schools for the education of students with disabilities and developmental problems, said Jovanovic, pointing out that together we should continue to work on an even more imaginative and powerful promotion of the French language among the youngest population.
MA Jadranka Jovanovic said that, as the Head of the delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, she is proud of the numerous activities and results that Serbia has had in this large international organisation, where its status was changed from that of an observer to an associate member, and added that she also plans to submit a candidacy for permanent membership in the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie.
Concluding her address, MA Jadranka Jovanovic said that La Francophonie is one of the last world organisations that has retained, not only declaratively, but fundamentally, the words of equality, fraternity, solidarity, freedom and diversity (egalité, fraternité, solidarité, liberté, diversité) and expressed her belief that it is this that will politically ensure the duration and secure future of Francophonie.
The Chair of the Group of Francophone Ambassadors, Ambassador of Romania Silvia Davidoiu, said that it is vital to respect international rights, pillars of democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law, institutional independence, and that the parliament and the assembly are at the very core of our action to promote democracy.
She added that tolerance and respect for social frameworks are needed now more than ever, as well as cooperation with citizens, artists, students and pupils so that everyone can enjoy cultural diversity, different values and values fostered by the Francophonie.
Finally, she said that the MPs greatly contribute to this process through the legislative power they wield, and invited all the participants to deepen the dialogue within the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie.
Frédéric Petit and Marine Hamelet, members of the National Assembly of the Republic of France currently in official visit to the Republic of Serbia, also addressed the gathering.
"The fact that Serbia wants to improve its status in La Francophonie speaks positively about the future of this region where Francophonie has always been present," said Frédéric Petit.
Marine Hamelet expressed her gratitude for all the activities aimed at protecting and nurturing the French language, which is spoken on five continents and is a symbol of freedom and emancipation of the people. Francophonie is a precious heritage that should be preserved for future generations, Hamelet said, adding that Francophonie is also a way to bring people closer, because it calls for respecting cultural and civilizational diversity.
The introductory speeches were followed by an artistic programme including a music number on the accordion by Richard Galliano entitled "La Valse a Margaux", performed by Luka Milojkovic from the Music School in Nis under the guidance of Professor Predrag Jovanovic; the lines from the “Poem to My White Brother" ("Poeme a mon frere blanc") by the Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor spoken by actor Rastko Jankovic and Georges Bizet’s "Habanera" performed by the Serbian opera prima donna and principal artist of the Opera of the National Theatre in Belgrade, Member of Parliament, Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with France and of the delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, MA Jadranka Jovanovic.
The celebration of International Francophonie Day was attended by members of the National Assembly delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie and members of the PFG with France, ambassadors of francophone countries in Belgrade, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of French Language and Culture.