PRESS RELEASE March 22, 2010

For Immediate Release Contact: George Konan Executive Producer (201) 737- 2034 Zaina Adamu Media Coordinator Tel 404 664 3886

International Organization of Francophonie Celebrates 40 Years of Uniting French Speakers Across the Globe

Friday, March 26, 2010 The Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom 311 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001

New York, NY - Under the initiative of Ambassador Moussa Makan Camara, the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) will commemorate 40 years of service to the French-speaking community with a Soiree de la Francophonie on March 26, 2010 at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom. The Soiree de la Francophonie offers a rare opportunity for businesses, professionals, students, and tourists to witness first hand the economic and social impact of the International Organisation de la Francophonie. "La francophonie is increasingly open to the world, keen to serve humankind, conscious of what it can contribute to others and aware that it needs others to fulfill its potential," says Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of la Francophonie. This empowering night will attract 800 to 1000 Francophones and New Yorkers from the Diplomatic Corps, as well as members of the financial, legal, academic and media sectors. The theme of this event is appropriately entitled "Diversity toward Peace." New York elected officials, including the Mayor's Office, the Governor's Office and the group of Francophone ambassadors to the United Nations will be present. Special guests are expected to attend this red carpet event. Features include a special tribute to Haiti and a presentation of the Venet D'or Award, an honor given annually to those who have attained the highest level of achievement in highlighting and promoting the French language in the global community. There will be live performances from Les Nubians, Malika Zarra, Francophonie 40 Big Band – led by Scott Tixier, Osmoss and local Francophonie international artists; truly an appealing taste of Francophone cuisine and ambiance at its finest. A private-invitation gala will follow the Soiree de la Francophonie to observe French-speaking citizens around the world. Champagne and cocktails will be served. comprises the wonderful multicultural tapestry that is our great State. "We are indeed privileged to be the friends and neighbors of so many with French antecedents and roots, for they graciously share their rich heritage with the community at large. Their beautiful, melodious language, passionate joie de vivre, interesting history and vibrant, exciting culture are known and enjoyed throughout the Gallic Diaspora, "says David A. Paterson, Governor of New York. "New York City is the place the world calls home - a place where nearly 200 languages are

spoken and where people from around the world stand side-by-side in mutual respect. Our City thrives on the contributions of organizations like the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, which, since its inception in 1970, has protected and promoted French language, culture, and heritage," says New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "Whether it is engaging in advocacy work or funding educational initiatives during these tough economic times, this organization has made invaluable contributions to our city's vast French-speaking and Francophile community."

History of the International Organization of Francophonie

Since 1970, the International Organization of Francophonie (IOF) has provided over 50 countries the power to promote, teach and learn the French language and culture to citizens across the globe. IOF is largely responsible for the connection between 56 member states and governments, three associate members and 14 observers. The 40-year-old organization has also created and sustained alliance among the English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arab-speaking linguistic zones. IOF is currently headquartered in Paris, France with four major representations in Addis Ababa, Brussels, New York and Geneva. IOF's mission is to advocate peace, democracy and human rights through active engagement and awareness of politics in various countries throughout the world. March 20 has been declared International Francophonie Day. For more information on IOF, please visit