2 Feb 2006

Francophone parliamentarians to meet in New Caledonia

5:00 pm on 2 February 2006

Members from French-speaking parliaments are due to begin a three-day meeting in New Caledonia tomorrow as part of a campaign to support the use of the French language in the Pacific.

The news agency AFP says the group includes members from 74 parliaments or organisations and is being led by Bernard Patry of Canada.

The meeting is to be held in Noumea for the first time and follows an initiative of the territory's member of the french senate, Simon Loueckhote.

The gathering is expected to support a call on all governments to adopt the Unesco convention on the protection and promotion of cultural diversity.

Next week, the parliamentary group is scheduled to hold a seminar in Vanuatu, which was a joint French-British colony.