Michaëlle Jean, the 27th Governor General of Canada, shares her family’s experience and challenges of adapting to life in Canada. As Haitian refugees they had a tougher path than most, but it didn’t stop Madame Jean from excelling in journalism, serving as the third Secretary-General of La Francophonie, and leading her own legacy project, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.Read More
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Former governor general Michaëlle Jean is calling on Canadian immigration authorities to show sympathy for asylum-seekers.Read More
World legend Charles Aznavour was going to open the 17th Summit of La Francophonie in Erevan, on October 11, where we would have joined him in the song “La Bohème” as we faced Mount Ararat. I was lucky to invest this famous Armenian of the world into the Order of Canada. Charles Aznavour we love you!Read More
"There must be no misunderstanding: violence, in every context where it occurs, will not be eradicated without in-depth work towards equality between women and men, the educational and economic empowerment of women."Read More
Le 14 septembre 2018, Michaëlle Jean, Secrétaire générale de la Francophonie, est honorée d’être investie par le Ministre arménien des Affaires étrangères, S.E. Monsieur Zohrab MNATSAKANYAN, au sein de l’Ordre national d’Arménie.Read More
A little over three years ago, I was elected as secretary general of la Francophonie, an international organization of 84 member states and governments – including Canada, Quebec, New Brunswick and, lately, Ontario – on five continents.
In a world that is increasingly fractured, where no one is shielded from terrorism, political and humanitarian crises, climate disruption and forced, massive migration movements, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)…Read More
News of the passing of Jacqueline Desmarais was received with great sadness...Read More
Former governor general Michaelle Jean was among those Canadians who sharply criticized U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday for reportedly using vulgar language to describe Haiti and countries in Africa.
Jean, who was born in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and is currently secretary general of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, called Trump's reported remarks "insulting."
"It was so disturbing this morning to hear President Trump's comments reported all over the news calling my poor native land and African countries 'shithole' nations," Jean said in a statement to The Canadian Press. "It is such an insult before humanity."Read More
"As January 12, marks the commemoration of the earthquake that devastated Haiti 8 years ago, it was so disturbing to hear President Trump's comments reported all over the news calling my poor native land and African countries "shithole" nations. It is such an insult before Humanity. For the First Representative of the United States of America to speak in such a manner is quite troubling and offensive."Read More
Canada may serve as a good example for Trump to follow when it comes to international cooperation, Jean says.
By JOANNA SMITH, The Canadian Press
Published in the Toronto Star, Sun., Nov. 20, 2016
Canada's ability to deploy French-speaking peacekeepers an asset, Michaëlle Jean says
Former governor general now Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie
By Brennan MacDonald, CBC News with host Rosemary Barton,
Posted: Nov 07, 2016 8:22 PM ET.
Former governor general Michaëlle Jean says Canada's history with peacekeeping and ability to deploy bilingual troops and police could be extremely valuable as threats grow more complex.
"Canada has experience. Canada has the knowledge. Canada has the will. And I would say that everyone is so pleased that Canada is answering the call," Jean told CBC News Network's Power & Politics.
Jean is currently the Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) — an umbrella group of eighty member states and governments that share French as common language.
Earlier in the day, Jean was in New York speaking to the UN Security Council on the kinds of threats and challenges facing modern peacekeeping missions. She emphasized the need for additional French-speaking personnel and the role of the IOF in peacekeeping operations.
Currently, seven of the UN's 16 peacekeeping operations are in countries or regions where French is a major language. In a speech delivered to a UN ministerial conference in late October, Canada's minister of foreign affairs said the lack of personnel capable of speaking French is a problem, citing that francophone countries only contribute 20 per cent of UN peacekeepers currently deployed in the field.Jean echoed this point, saying the Canadian military's capacity to speak French is an important factor.
"The capacity to actually collect information, to engage with the populations — to actually build a relationship of trust is so important," she told host Rosemary Barton.
Earlier this year, Canada committed up to 600 troops and roughly 150 police officers to peacekeeping operations. However, Canada has yet to announce where those personnel will be sent.
Some of the leading destinations are thought to be Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic — all French-speaking countries. Canada's Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan is currently visiting Mali and Senegal on a fact-finding mission.
"The conversations this far have been open and honest discussions of challenges and opportunities in the region and how Canada could play a role contributing to peace and security," said Jordan Owens, Sajjan's spokesperson.
However, Owens confirmed no decision has yet been made as to where to send Canadian peacekeepers.
The UN mission in Mali began in 2013 and is now comprised of about 13,000 troops and 2,000 police. It is one of the most deadly UN operations with more than 100 peacekeepers killed since the operation began, including 32 this year.
The northern region of Mali is plagued by rampant attacks — often aimed at UN personnel - by Islamist militants.
Jean says that what is happening in Mali is not just an issue for the West African country, but also for the whole region, the continent and the world.
"What we are dealing with are criminal organizations who actually are trying to destabilize entire regions. To actually have a negative impact on solidarity among countries around the world," said Jean.
These criminal organizations are doing so in an attempt to secure territory to continue their trafficking in arms, drugs and humans, she said.
"It's really important to come all together — all organizations together and all countries together — to really answer with an appropriate strategy on the ground. To fight these situations," she added.
Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in November 2008. As is customary, his first visit to a foreign country was in Canada. February 2009. At the time, pictures of the two of us on the tarmac of the Ottawa airport were broadcast around the world. People have often asked me about the smile on our faces.Read More
Canada's decision to fully adopt, without qualification, the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples...Read More
I had met with Métis leaders in my days as Governor General. They told me all about their hopes that one day, they would see their rights stand tall and recognized before history. I immediately sympathized and was happy to share some of the path they walked on that long journey.
On my last trip home to Canada, I was profoundly moved by breaking news of the Daniels v. Canada decision, as I felt its deep historical resonance, tremendous significance and great potential. So I wanted to congratulate the men and women behind this landmark decision.