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Commonwealth, La Francophonie Secretaries-General meet G20 envoys

16 March 2012
The Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie on 16 March 2012, met with several UK-based G20 ambassadors and High Commissioners, including the six G20 members of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, to exchange views on how the two organisations can continue deepening their collaboration with the G20.

The meeting held at Marlborough House, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, brought together envoys from Australia, Canada, France, India, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the meeting, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma commented on the growing and productive partnership that has developed between the two organisations in providing input to the G20's development agenda, since an inaugural meeting between the Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in his capacity as Chair of the G20 Toronto Summit, in June 2010.

Mr Sharma said the Commonwealth and La Francophonie look to the G20 as `trustees' - a 'T20' - for the 172 countries in the world that do not sit at the G20 table. He pledged Commonwealth support in continuing to represent the needs of the wider global community in order to stimulate and inform G20 discussions.

On his part, Abdou Diouf, the Secretary-General of La Francophonie, said that the partnership his organisation has with the Commonwealth is one of the strongest and most productive. Mr Diouf said he looks forward to increasing the momentum of the relationship to advocate for the interests of the weak and marginalised so that their views can be heard and taken into account.

Both Secretaries-General hailed the impact of the 'Hub and Spokes' project, an initiative building the trade policy capacity of their memberships, that is being jointly implemented by the two organisations.