The National Assembly celebrated International Francophonie Day today, hosted by the Head of the National Assembly’s standing delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie MA Jadranka Jovanovic.
Addressing the attending, National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic emphasised that the Republic of Serbia sincerely shares all the values of this international organisation whose motto is equality, complementarity and solidarity, and is very interested in developing relations with the countries and peoples who share the same values. That is why we expect our work to be affirmed through full membership in this organisation, because Serbia deserves that status, Dacic stressed.
The Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie Jacques Krabal emphasised the political significance of this event, especially the role and commitment of the Head of the National Assembly’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie MA Jadranka Jovanovic, thanks to whom in 2019 the Serbian Parliament moved from the status of an observer to the status of an associate member of this international parliamentary organisation. In his address, Krabal stated that Serbia respects linguistic, religious and ethnic differences, and that it is through this respect for diversity that the world can reach the unity it still strives for. An event such as this enables us to understand culture as the backbone of parliamentary diplomacy, said Krabal, adding that La Francophonie was established precisely through its cultural dimension.
The President of the Group of Francophone Ambassadors, Ambassador of Egypt, H.E. Amr Aljowaily thanked, on behalf of the Group, the National Assembly for the celebration which crowns the month dedicated to Francophonie. He also thanked Serbia for its commitment to friendship with Francophone countries.
The Head of the National Assembly delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie MA Jadranka Jovanovic highlighted the importance of the French language for the formation of the modern Serbian state, bearing in mind that the first modern Serbian Constitution was modelled on the French constitutional charters of 1814 and 1830, and the Belgian Constitution of 1830. She stressed that Serbia is fully committed to La Francophonie’s values and goals of peace, development of democratic values, respect for human rights, protection of cultural heritage and economic development. La Francophonie is one of the last organisations that has kept, not only declaratively, but in essence, the words and values, such as equality, brotherhood, solidarity, freedom and diversity, MA Jadranka Jovanovic concluded her address.
In the course of the event, young opera artists Nevena Djokovic, Zeljka Zdjelar and Jana Cvetkovic, members of the National Theatre Opera Studio, under the mentorship of MA Jadranka Jovanovic, performed, accompanied on piano by Milivoj Veljic, a trio from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet, while actress Mitra Mladenovic recited the verses of "Dear White Brother" by the Senegalese poet Leopold Sedar Senghor.
The celebration of International Francophonie Day was also attended by ambassadors of Francophone countries, member states of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, Francophone representatives of international organisations in Belgrade, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia.