Romania @ UN

La Roumanie Francophone

I. Membership


In the context of the beginning of the 1990s, of renewal of ties with democratic countries, sustained by the incontestable Romanian “francophone” and “francophile” character, as well as by our people’s profound attachment to the francophone ideals – peace, democracy, human rights, cultural diversity and solidarity in the service of development – Romania presented its candidacy to the institutional francophone structures of the age. In 1991, Romania was invited to participate, on an observer-status, to the fourth Francophone Summit in Paris – Chaillot. Two years later, in 1993, at the fifth Francophone Summit, Romania attained full member status.

 
II. The Romanian presence in the French-speaking world


A. The French Language in Romania


According to the “Report on the State of the French-speaking World», published in 1990 by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, «one out of four Romanians has knowledge of French and the country counts 27% French-speaking individuals». Today, the presence of the French language in Romania is in full expansion: besides the four institutes and cultural centers (Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iaşi and Timişoara) and the five branches of the French Alliance (Braşov, Constanţa, Medgidia, Ploieşti and Piteşti), there are dozens of bilingual sections open at secondary level education and multiple francophone courses of study in higher education. Exchange programs give approximately 5 000 Romanian students the opportunity to experience university-level education in France or another French-speaking European country. At the level of doctoral formation, the system of co-tutelage degrees is under comparable expansion.


B. Francophone structures in Romania

 

Underlining that the rationale of North-South expansion of the International Francophone Organization (OIF), sought since the creation of the Francophone movement itself, must be completed by an orientation towards the East, imposed by the new international architecture, Romania has declared itself in favor of the strengthening of the Francophone pole in Central Eastern Europe.

On the Romanian territory, the following structures are active:

The Intergovernmental Francophone Agency (AIF)

Romania was admitted as an observing-status member in the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT), a predecessor of AIF, in 1991, becoming a full member in 1993. In March 2004, the AIF launched a regional antenna in Bucharest, for the States of Central and Eastern Europe.

The University-level Francophone Agency (AUF)

In December 1994, the Bureau for Central and Eastern Europe of the AUF was organized. In 2001, the Personal Representative of the Romanian President for Francophone Issues was elected as a member of the Administrative Council of the AUF.

Link: http://www.auf.org/regions/europe-centrale-orientale/implantations/


Worthy of noting is the good functioning of AUF alongside organizations of higher education in 19 Romanian universities:

· Bucharest (the University of Bucharest; the Polytechnic Faculty; the Academy of Economic Sciences; the University of Constructions; the University of Agronomical Studies and of Veterinary Medicine)

· Brasov (the «Transilvania » University)

· Craiova (the University, the University of Medicine and Pharmacy)

· Iasi (The  «Gheorghe Asachi» Technical University; the « A.I. Cuza » University)

· Timisoara (the Polytechnic Institute; the University of Medicine and Pharmacy)

· Bacau (the University of Bacău)

· Cluj-Napoca  (the « Babes-Bolyai » University; the « Iuliu Hateganu » University of Medicine and Pharmacy; the University of Agricultural Studies and Veterinary Medicine)

· Constanta (the «Ovidius» University)

· Galati (the «Dunarea de Jos» University)

· Suceava (the «Stefan cel Mare» University)

These branches have established strong cooperation ties with the University-level Francophone Agency, either directly or through its regional Bureau in Bucharest. To that we must add the active role taken by TV5 throughout the Romanian territory, since 1991.


C. Francophone institutional presence in Romania

· 1998: Bucharest hosted the 12th Ministerial Conference of the Francophony (CMF)

· 2000: The 10th edition of the “Nicolae Titulescu” Foundation courses, dedicated to Francophone institutions.

· 2001: The official Bucharest visit of the OIF Secretary General, Mr. Boutros-Ghali.

· 2004 :The official Bucharest visit of the OIF Secretary General, Mr. Abdou Diouf

· 2005: The Bucharest visit of the General Administrator, Mr. Roger Dehaybe, and of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General, M. Ousmane Paye, regarding the preparation of the Francophone Summit in Bucharest (2006).  

· 2006: the Francophone Summit in Bucharest

D. Romania and the Francophonie in New York

In February 2008, Romania was elected as a member of the Bureau of the Francophone Ambassadors Group (GAF) at the UN, with a two year mandate, to coordinate the working group “Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights”. The members of the Bureau were:

· The President : France

· Two vice-presidents : Canada and Gabon

· Four working group coordinators: Sénégal – multilingualism and strengthening of the Francophone presence in the world; the Comores – peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations, conflict prevention ; Morocco – cooperation and development ; Romania – democracy, rule of law and human rights.

· The Secretariat – ensured by the Permanent representation of the OIF at the UN.

In March 2010, Romania was reelected as a member of the GAF Bureau and charged with the coordination of the same network: Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights. The format of the Bureau was changed, its new composition being:

· The Président : France

· Five vice-presidents : Switzerland – spokesperson, Gabon – relation with the Security Council, Cameroon – relation with the General Assembly, Canada – relation with the Peacebuilding Commission, Laos – relation with the UN funds and programs.

· Four working group coordinators: Senegal, the Comores, Morocco, Romania – reinstated mandates.

· The Secretariat – ensured by the Permanent representation of the OIF at the UN.

The purpose of the Group of Francophone Ambassadors was to create and animate a forum of information, of contact and exchange between the francophone diplomatic missions, the OIF, the UN and regional and linguistic groups within the United Nations. The Bureau of the GAF ensures the coordination, coherence and continuity of its activities.

Romania, coordinator of the “Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights” group, promotes the Francophone expertise at the UN, in the conception as well as in the application of projects and programs related to the topics of the network it supervises; it ensures the interface between the Francophone world and the UN in regard to these topics. 

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