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Cambodia & Francophonie: Edgar Doeric of the OIF, "Transforming the French-speaking world into a breeding ground for inclusive innovation"

Cambodia's Minister of Tourism, H.E. Sok Soken, met on Friday with Mr Edgar Doerig, regional representative of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) for Asia and the Pacific. The purpose of the meeting was to explore ways of further promoting cooperation in the development of sustainable tourism in Cambodia.

Edgar Doerig, regional representative of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) for Asia and the Pacific
Edgar Doerig, regional representative of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) for Asia and the Pacific

"The promotion of sustainable tourism is a project that is particularly dear to my heart. So, with a view to decentralising the activities of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, it's our office in Hanoi that has been given this programme, and we're going to manage it with four people joining my team," explained Mr Doerig during his speech delivered at the Sora Sky Bar in Rosewood Phnom Penh to mark the Journée internationale de la Francophonie.

Since 2021, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), through the Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD), has been deploying a number of initiatives to support a favourable and stimulating ecosystem for inclusive innovation in this key sector.

According to the IFDD, the ambition is to "transform the French-speaking world into a breeding ground for inclusive innovation". In its new 2024-2027 programme, the OIF is giving innovation a prominent place through the "French for Sustainable Development" programme, with several projects in which innovation plays a significant role. As part of the "Supporting structural transformations in the environment and climate" project, for example, innovative mechanisms will be deployed to promote and accelerate access to sustainable financing, while providing more effective support for the adoption and implementation of national commitments to help "make the French-speaking world a strategic and innovative cooperation laboratory" (find out more here...)''.

During his speech, Mr Doeric also underlined the enthusiasm reigning in the field of La Francophonie for the Asia-Pacific region:

"I am responsible for the whole region of all the member states, governments and associated states and observers for Asia-Pacific with our representation based in Hanoi. So, throughout this year, I've really been able to gauge the enthusiasm, the presence and the key players who work day in, day out, whether teachers, officials or players in the cultural field, for the French language, Francophone cultures and all the projects and programmes that we're in the process of implementing with their participation", he declared, underlining:

"But I also realised that there were challenges to be met, there are other languages that are popular, there are other players. But with the network I've been able to build with you here, Cambodia remains very active in a number of areas.''

"We saw this last year with the Conseil pour la Promotion de la Francophonie, which I'm delighted about, and it's also why Cambodia is by far the most visited country by myself and my colleagues, after Vietnam. Ambassador Jacques Pellet has given us a fairly comprehensive overview of what France is doing in Cambodia. We work hand in hand and often have joint or coordinated initiatives.

Edgar Doerig, Regional Representative of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) for Asia and the Pacific
Edgar Doerig, Regional Representative of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) for Asia and the Pacific

After highlighting the network of national structures and institutions responsible for the French-speaking world in Asia-Pacific, Mr Doerig congratulated H.E. Dr CHHIV Yiseang, Secretary of State, Deputy Minister and National Correspondent to the OIF and its structures:

"For several years, with great skill, new ideas and initiatives, he has actively participated in our annual meetings, most recently in Nouméa, New Caledonia, in October 2023. So I would really like to thank him officially. And I think everyone who knows him will join me in a well-deserved round of applause''.

The OIF representative went on to cite "a real economic dynamic, exchanges with many companies, both European and Asian, but also African within the framework of the MECA, this economic and trade mission which today constitutes a model that has proved its worth.

Mr Doerig went on to mention Cambodia's "very strong commitment to peacekeeping operations and the Francophonie electoral mission that took place this year''. "During this mission, we were well received by the government, had discussions with all sorts of interested parties and were able to observe that the elections went well''.

This year, the OIF will be working closely with Cambodia through the Fonds de Solidarité Francophone, which will support the NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang, "the largest and most important project out of 54 proposals that were finally accepted by the selection committee in Paris".

"I would also like to congratulate Cambodia on its initiative in applying to host the next Francophonie summit, and I wish it every success.''

The regional representative concluded: "And you remember, 30 years ago, there was still a lot of investment, a lot of links that were created, recreated, not only in Vietnam, but throughout the region, spurred on by France. It's true, it's supported and it will continue like that with the other active members in the region. So I'll end with this speech, once again, to thank you all for everything you do for the French-speaking world. Vive la francophonie! Thank you very much and enjoy your evening''.

 

Listen to Edgar Doerig's speech

 

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