With a population of over 890 million inhabitants and 220 million French speakers worldwide, the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) aims at providing solidarity between the 75 States and governments that are members of it (56 members and 19 observers) – it represents more than a third of UN Member States.
La Francophonie is the body that organizes political relations and cooperation between states and governments of the OIF, which share the use of the French language and respect its universal values.
The institutional bodies of La Francophonie consist of the Summit of Heads of State and Government which meets every two years, and the Secretary General of La Francophonie, cornerstone of this system. Since 2003, the Secretary General of La Francophonie is Abdou Diouf, former President of the Republic of Senegal.
The OIF was founded in 1970 with the Treaty of Niamey (Niger). It takes political action and multilateral cooperation to provide solidarity in favour of the populations of its member states. It acts in respect of cultural and linguistic diversity and for the promotion of the French language, peace and sustainable development.
The Charter, adopted in 1997, stress the objectives of La Francophonie; it was adopted during the Summit of Heads of State and Government in Hanoi (Vietnam) and revised by the Ministerial Conference in 2005 in Antananarivo (Madagascar):
The establishment and development of democracy;
The prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, and support for the rule of law and human rights;
The intensification of dialogue among cultures and civilizations;
bringing people together through mutual understanding;
strengthening their solidarity through multilateral cooperation to promote the growth of their economies;
The promotion of education and training.
The missions of La Francophonie are set out in a ten-year strategic framework adopted by the Summit of Heads of State and Government in 2004 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) for the period 2005-2014:
To promote the French language and cultural and linguistic diversity;
Promoting peace, democracy and human rights;
Supporting education, training, higher education and research;
Expand cooperation for sustainable development.
FIACAT is accredited before la Francophonie since 2005 and, as such, it is regularly consulted and involved in the implementation of some of its programs.