Laos claims success in hosting the 23rd Francophone Ministerial Meeting in Vientiane last week, citing the adoption of its proposal to make the French language “an instrument of solidarity and the promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity.”
Delegates from 68 French-Speaking countries gathered for the first meeting ever held in Vientiane. The francophone organization was established in 1970. Laos, a former French colony from 1893 to 1954, was admitted as an observer in 1972 and became a full member in 1991.
However, as Laos opens up more and more to the outside world, English has become more widely spoken. In order to re-establish the French language, Lao officials used the conference to promote French as the friendship language of the world, with its proposal: "French Language: an instrument of solidarity and the promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity," which was adopted by the conference.
Listen to our Laos Today report for further details in Lao.