The Republic of Cyprus was unanimously accepted as an Associate Member of the International Organization of La Francophonie αt the eleventh Summit of the Organization, held in Bucharest between 28-29 September 2006.
Cyprus’ accession to the Organization allows it to participate in an important forum with a common language, French, and an area of shared values and solidarity. Key elements and objectives of the IOF are the promotion of democracy; rule of law; respect for human rights; peace and security; the protection of cultural heritage; as well as the support of cultural and linguistic diversity.
Since joining, Cyprus actively participates in key political institutions of the Organization, such as the Conference of Heads of State and Government, the Conference of the Ministers in charge of Francophonie, and the Permanent Council of Francophonie. The aim of the Republic of Cyprus is to gradually participate in all the institutions and agencies that constitute the political framework of the Francophonie, such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie, the Conference of Ministers of Education, the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports, and the International Organization of French-speaking Mayors.
The involvement of the IOF with regard to the Cyprus problem became more active during the thirteenth Conference of the Francophonie Summit in Montreux, Switzerland in 2010, the fourteenth Summit in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012, the fifteenth Summit in Dakar, Senegal (2014) and the sixteenth Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar in 2016. In all conferences a resolution on Cyprus was adopted in the text of the final conclusions. The Heads of States and Governments declared their support for a just solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus, through a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality of the two Communities, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, with a single international personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship.
Cyprus also cooperates with the IOF in promoting the French language in international institutions. For this reason, on 10 October 2015, during the Conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers, in Armenia, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus signed a 3 year new Memorandum with the International Organization of La Francophonie. This Memorandum, applies a training programme in French for the Cypriot public administration, through which Cyprus participates in the programme “The French in international relations.” In this programme, public officials are trained, free of charge, in French and receive scholarships to attend language centers in Belgium and France. They also participate in specialized seminars that are organized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the National School of Administration of Strasbourg, the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht, the College of Europe in Bruges, or the Diplomatic school of Vienne. The first Memorandum was signed the 2 March 2007.
In December 2009, the University of Cyprus was linked to the “Association of Universities of the Francophonie”, which allows students and teachers to participate in significant research and host graduate programs.
Since September 2009 Cyprus participate in the “International Games of La Francophonie”. The Games which are held every four years, one year after the Olympic Games and are both athletic and cultural in context, aiming to highlight and promote young talents.
Eighty four States and Governments from all five continents are members of the IOF.
More information about the International Organization of La Francophonie can be found at www.francophonie.org.