Canada’s Financial Contribution to Organizing the Sixth Games of La Francophonie in Lebanon

(No. 261 - September 18, 2009 - 11:15 a.m. EDT) The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, today announced that Canada will contribute $1 million to help organize the sixth Games of La Francophonie, which will take place in Beirut, Lebanon, from September 27 to October 6, 2009.

This contribution is in keeping with Canada’s traditional support for the International Organization of La Francophonie and more particularly for the Games of La Francophonie, which were held in Ottawa-Hull in 2001.

"Since the Games were created in 1989, Canada has always strongly supported the organization of the Games; this support was reiterated in the Quebec City Declaration issued at the 12th Francophonie Summit, which was held last October,” stated Minister Verner.

Nearly 50 countries and governments of La Francophonie, including Canada, New Brunswick and Quebec, have confirmed their participation. The number of delegations expected will make these sixth Games the second largest after those held in Canada in the summer of 2001, which attracted the participation of more than 3,000 athletes and artists from 51 states and governments.

"The Games are one of La Francophonie’s landmark events, bringing young people from all the Organization’s member countries together in sporting and cultural competitions—a brilliant demonstration of La Francophonie’s core values of solidarity and cooperation," concluded Minister Verner.

This financial contribution also reflects Canada’s support for the Lebanese government and its efforts to rebuild the country following the conflict of the summer of 2006 and the civil war that ravaged Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lisa Mitchell
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie
613-943-1838

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874