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ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA, BUJAR OSMANI, AT THE OPENING OF THE VIRTUAL EXHIBITION "50 YEARS OF LA FRANCOPHONIE – THE VIEW OF NORTH MACEDONIA"
Ladies and gentlemen, dear Francophone friends and admirers of the French language, Welcome to the virtual exhibition "50 Years of La Francophonie – the View from North Macedonia,” which is an event that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia hosts to celebrate the great jubilee of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of La Francophonie. Through authentic photographs from the archives of the Ministry, the French Institute in Skopje and of other institutions and individuals, the exhibition depicts the Francophone tradition in our country, the place and role of the French language in our society, as well as the Francophone cultural exchange which builds on the multicultural and multilingual tradition and reality in our country. The photographs exhibited track the path of the Republic of North Macedonia to La Francophonie, demonstrating its commitment to be part of a family of shared values and solidarity which, taking the French language as a source point, seeks to contribute to solving the challenges of today, while remaining committed to the fundamental principles of democracy, human rights and cultural and linguistic diversity. This exhibition was to be opened in the entry hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 2020 as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of La Francophonie which are taking place, and I should like to particularly emphasize this - under the auspices of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski. The epidemiological situation with the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us temporarily from pursuing that idea, but, employing the same enthusiasm, pride and commitment to the future, we are now presenting the exhibition virtually, all the while remaining hopeful of being able to host it in a physical setting in March 2021 during the 2021 Days of La Francophonie. In that respect, I should like to use this opportunity to offer my appreciation to all those who invested a lot of effort and commitment into making this exhibition possible and provided their input to hosting it today. I should like to express my particular appreciation to our partner in organizing it - the French Institute in Skopje, as well as to the Association of French Language Teachers in the Republic of North Macedonia. We are setting up the exhibition virtually on the International Day of French Language Teachers – the 26th of November. Congratulating them on their day, I should like to express my great respect for their noble mission in spreading the language of Molière in our country. This exhibition is dedicated to them, but also to all friends of the French language and La Francophonie.
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