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Summits of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie should be celebrations of French values. But African squabbles spoiled this year's event

By Tim King   January 2005

The tenth summit of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie has just been held in Burkina Faso—perhaps not a world-changing event, but if French values have global weight it is in part due to this 53-nation club.?

La Francophonie had its first biennial summit nearly 20 years ago, although the idea was mooted 20 years before that by four presidents of newly independent French colonies. Unlike the (ex-British) Commonwealth, membership is not restricted to “those having a constitutional link past or present” with any other member, and none of the ten observer nations—including Austria, Poland and Slovakia—has linguistic links either.…

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