Vienna/Ouagadougou, 26 November 2004 Press release

Austria is granted observer status at the International Organisation of the Francophonie


Vienna/Ouagadougou, 26 November 2004 - On Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November 2004 the 10th summit of the IOF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) will be held in Ouagadougou, the capital of the West African state Burkina Faso. At this year’s IOF summit Austria will be granted permanent observer status, which will be granted inter alia also to Hungary and Croatia. The IOF (International Organisation of the Francophonie) consists of 51 permanent members from all five continents and covers more than 500 million people whose common link is the use of French.

The granting of observer status reflects the high importance Austria has always attached to French language and culture but also to the values propagated by the IOF: peace, democracy, human rights, sustainable development, access to education and information. Besides being an expression of the member state’s commitment to the promotion of international dialogue, membership in the IOF ensures that the member’s own language and culture also find protection and recognition.

But the IOF also has a political dimension which is reflected in the agenda of the respective summits; this year’s meeting will focus on sustainable development and the situation in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

Burkina Faso is one of the priority countries of Austria’s Development Cooperation programme. Since the 1970s Austria has maintained a local coordination office for development assistance in Ouagadougou.