Promotion of French online in the countries members of COMSATS
Speech by H.E. Mr. Pierre Charasse, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, on the occasion of a lunch hosted by the French Embassy in Islamabad and the COMSATS
(Marriott Islamabad, April 28, 2004)
Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,
Let me first of all thank Dr. Hameed Ahmed Khan and his organisation, COMSATS for the
organisation of today’s lunch. COMSATS has over the last years, become a partner of the French Embassy and we are proud and happy to cooperate with it.
Let me now address directly the objective of today’s meeting. COMSATS is, to a large extent, specialized in the Information Communication Technology and there is no need to insist on the role they play in linking any country with the outside world and countries with different levels of development. At the same time, the gap between the countries of the North and the South is greater than ever, and ICT has the potential for, and should be used to, promote development, contribute to the eradication of poverty, the achievement of primary education, environment sustainability,... How can we imagine the « globalizd world » or the « global village » in the future if billions of people are not in a position to communicate with other persons because of the barrier of language ?
One application of the ICT is also the learning of foreign languages. According to UNESCO, access to international languages has become a « right », but we also believe very strongly, that it is also an instrument of development.
This is the perspective in which we have developed French Online that Mrs Sananes will present today. This is also how we have already started to use it in some areas of Pakistan where the Alliances françaises are not present. French Online is used to teach French to Pakistani students who have been selected to pursue their higher education in France in the field of engineering, economics, sciences, etc ... With the collaboration of COMSATS we also intend to extend the teaching of French in some of the most remote parts of Pakistan as we are now doing in the northern areas.
French Online is a product that we believe could be of interest to all of you and we shall soon demonstrate why. Should you be interested, what we’ll ask you is to facilitate the promotion of French Online in your country by helping us create contacts with your academic institutions, your administrations and, more generally, all institutions you believe may be interested in such a product.
I seize this occasion to congratulate COMSATS for its action in favour of South-South cooperation. It is essential that developing countries help each other to benefit fully from progress in science and technology, in particular in the field of ICT. France considers that in a multipolar world, considers essential the multiplication of networks between countries and is deeply convinced that the so called « Southern » countries can progress together and that they have a lot to teach to the « North ».
With these words, I now give the floor to Dr. Hameed Ahmed Khan