Swiss president plugs International Geneva at Francophonie summit

Cassis met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the Francophonie summit in Djerba, Tunisia. Keystone / Sean Kilpatrick

Ignazio Cassis told delegates at the 18th summit of French-speaking countries that Geneva was a key player in the field of digital governance.

This content was published on November 20, 2022

In a speech on the closing day of the gathering in Djerba, Tunisia, Cassis made a sales pitch for the Swiss city, which is home to the United Nations European headquarters and a range of other international organisations.

"Thanks to its density of organisations involved in digital technology, as well as joint work with the academic world and the private sector, Geneva is a particularly favourable breeding ground for digital cooperation," said Cassis.

The foreign minister, who holds the Swiss rotating presidency, underlined the role of new technologies in improving public services as well as the lives of the most disadvantaged.

Switzerland, which acted as vice-president of the summit, went to Djerba with the objective of “promoting digitalisation in the service of the values of the French-speaking world”. Digitalisation is one of the pillars of the Swiss foreign policy strategy.

On Saturday, Cassis took time to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In a tweet, he praised the “excellent collaboration, particularly in the area of innovation” between the two countries. The leaders discussed the war in Ukraine, among other issues.

The Organisation Internationale de la francophonie (OIF) was created in 1970 to promote the French language, develop economic cooperation in the French-speaking world, and help mediate international conflicts. Switzerland became a member of the OIF in 1995 and hosted the Francophonie summit in 2010 in Montreux.

The next edition of the summit will be held in France in 2024.

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