18 March 2011 - UNODC is pleased to announce the launch of its French website, "L'ONUDC site français", in observance of the "International Day of Francophonie", which is marked annually on 19 March. Our French-speaking Web visitors can now find information about the work of UNODC more easily.
Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, said: "I admire the language of Molière as much as that of Shakespeare and of Pushkin, so I am proud to launch the French version of the website, which will allow us to increase our global audience and reach. I wish to thank sincerely the Permanent Mission of France in Vienna, without whose support we could not have accomplished this."
"French is key in helping us to reach our target audiences, especially in West Africa, a region that some 100 million French speakers call home. Our Regional Office in Senegal covers twenty-two countries grappling with drug trafficking, human trafficking and other forms of organized crime. We have to get our message across to them", he said.
"In addition, many of our major donors, notably Belgium, Canada, France and Switzerland, have sizeable French-speaking communities", he added.
Ambassador Florence Mangin, the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, said: "The launch of a French website by UNODC is a major achievement that all French speakers welcome. France, which has financed this achievement, has always maintained that respect for linguistic diversity is a cornerstone of international democracy, first and foremost at the United Nations, where French is one of the six official languages and one of its two working languages. Language, as we know, is not only a vehicle of communication; it is a source of mutual enrichment".
Ms. Mangin added: "I am confident that the French website will help to spread more widely and effectively news on how UNODC is working to make a difference in the world. For the 900 million people living in French-speaking countries, for governments and organizations, the website will be an important tool to strengthen their link with the United Nations".
Over a third of United Nations Member States belong to the International Organization of Francophonie (the organization of French-speaking countries). Thirty countries use French as their official language, in addition to dozens of others where French is the unofficial language, or "lingua franca".
UNODC will continue to expand its French-language content. Please visit us. Soyez les bienvenus!
To visit the French website, click here. The language switcher is also available on the English homepage.